September 15, 2017 Issue

In Focus

Scaling Back

Bangkok—The star of an August 31 press conference in Thailand was one of the 136 pangolins recently seized by customs officials there. The massive haul came after officials received a tipoff about an upcoming attempt to smuggle the highly endangered species from Malaysia. Pangolins, the only mammals with scales, are the world’s most trafficked wild mammal, and poachers have ravaged populations in Asia. Its meat is considered a delicacy in Vietnam and parts of China, and traditional Chinese medicine uses the animal’s keratin scales, which are dried and roasted and consumed for everything from treating palsy to stimulating lactation.
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