Pangolins may not be very good at protecting themselves, but that is why they have a team of men who are dedicated to watching over them.
These members of the Tikki Hywood Trust, also known as the “Pangolin Men” of Zimbabwe, are a group of volunteers who spend their lives rehabilitating pangolins who have been rescued from poachers.
The caretakers ensure that the ant-eating mammals are able to hunt and forage for themselves before they are released back into the wild.
“We walk them, we feed them, we protect them – all like our children,” says one of the volunteers in the video below.
In November 2016, wildlife photographer Adrian Steirn traveled to the organization’s facilities and photographed the Pangolin Men with their scaly friends – and the results were breathtaking.
Steirn says that he wanted to capture the incredible bond of trust exhibited by the critters and their caretakers in hopes that it would raise awareness of pangolin poaching.
Pangolins are considered to be the world’s most trafficked animal due to the high demand for their meat and scales. Hope is on the horizon, however – delegates at a U.N. wildlife convention last year voted to ban the trade of all eight species of Asian and African pangolins.
(WATCH the incredible footage below)
Click To Share The News With Your Friends – Photo by Adrian Steirn