Jail awaits pangolin hunters

Leoni Kruger
LEPHALALE – The pangolin is currently number one on the list of endangered species and anyone who may have a pangolin – living or dead – in their possession without a valid permit, may face a jail sentence.
According to Warrant Officer Jurg van Heerden from Limpopo Endangered Species Unit, it has recently come to his attention that farmers take dead pangolins to taxidermists to mount them as trophies. Van Heerden says this is completely illegal unless a permit is issued by Nature Conservation. “It is as serious an offence as being in the possession of rhino horn” he said. These animals may under no circumstances be hunted either.
Van Heerden added that DNA samples must be taken of all pangolins – even if they are dead. “This is to keep the data bank at Onderstepoort up to date so that it can be established what area an animal comes from etc.” he said.
He said it has also been established that pangolin occurs more naturally in the Beska area.
Anyone who would like to submit an application for a permit can get hold of Jurg van Heerden on 082 814 4300 or 082 414 2337.

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