4 min read

Pangolin Who Hurt His Paw Gets A Tiny Cast

Hunters were trying to trap him.

Earlier this month, people came to the rescue of a little pangolin who wouldn't have survived without their help.

The pangolin was found caught in a snare trap set by hunters who were likely going to try to sell him. He was brought to Save Vietnam's Wildlife, an animal rescue organization that helps rehabilitate and release pangolins whose lives have been marred by a rampant wildlife trade.

Native to Africa and Asia, the pangolin is thought to be the most trafficked mammal on Earth. Traffickers value the animals for their meat, considered to be a delicacy in the far East, and scales, falsely believed to have medicinal properties. On the black market, a pangolin can fetch $1,000 or more. It's estimated that at least a million pangolins have died because of the trade in the last decade.

But people are starting to fight back against a trade that threatens pangolins with extinction. Not only are wildlife rescuers across Asia rehabilitating and releasing the animals once they're strong enough (the animals are often found in terrible shape after being seized from smugglers), in 2016, CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) resolved to up its protections of pangolins, officially banning the trade of all eight types of pangolins.

Meanwhile, each pangolin people can save from the trade counts. And this little guy got the help he needed.

Rescuers treated the wound on his leg left by the snare trap. Often pangolins end up losing their legs to these traps, but this pangolin was lucky - the trap had only left a few scratches in his skin.

"Fortunately, our little pangolin here just had several cuts," the group wrote. "He will recover, but the traps are still hanging out there."

Then they wrapped up his leg in a little cast and let him rest.

He'll need his strength for when he goes back into the wild again.

To help Save Vietnam's Wildlife rescue more animals like this pangolin, click here.

Watch a video about the pangolin trade below: