Pangolins are also known as “scaly anteaters” for the obvious reasons of their diet (insects) and claw and tooth proof exterior which they employ by rolling into a ball when threatened.
The scales are made of keratin, the same material as the human fingernail.
There are eight species, found in Asia and Africa (four in each) and they are the most trafficked animal in the World.
Pangolin meat is considered a delicacy in Asia and their scales are used for medicine in China.
It is believed over a million were traded on the Black Market in the last 10 years and an estimated 195,000 pangolins were trafficked in 2019 for their scales alone (Challender, et. al, 2020).
They are protected under national and international laws, and two are listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The exact pangolin population figure remains unknown due to their shy nature and nocturnal habits.