Last week’s sting operation rescued not only a young female Temminck pangolin from poachers, but also her unborn pangupup.
The Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital, a non-profit wildlife-only veterinary and rehabilitation center, discovered the critically endangered animal’s status during a CT scan to determine its condition.
Because pangolins are so valuable, the vet keeps all rescued pangolins in a secret location to improve their chances of survival and protect staff.
The pangolin was saved from the illegal wildlife trade in a covert operation by the African Pangolin Working Group, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation and the Department of Economic Development, Environment, Conservation and Tourism.
She was rescued on Thursday and taken to the secret hospital by Pangolin K9 in an extremely dehydrated condition.
The vet has she was aptly named Gaia, which means mother of all life, after the Greek goddess of the earth.
According to the vet, she was sedated, blood drawn and rehydrated.
In a post on her Instagram page, the vet showed off her extreme dehydration with photos taken the day she arrived looking haggard, and three days later after she had gained weight .A CT scan that revealed her pregnancy also revealed that she had internal damage fromblunt force trauma that was not apparent externally .
“Right now your baby is no bigger than a large grape,” said the vet. “It is now even more important than usual to release her safely as soon as possible to ensure that her pregnancy proceeds without undue stress and that the baby can be born from captivity.”< span> span>
Above: Gaia searches for ants in a healthier state after their rescue.
The Wildlife Vet treats native animals for free and relies solely on the donations and support of the community.
A recentcomedy night in America raised funds to provide CT scans for Pangolin -Paying patients like Gaia.