Due to heavy rainfalls on Okonjima this past weekend, the process of getting this story to you was slightly delayed! Rather late then never… 😉
On Saturday, we had a rather surprising find by one of our park managers. A rather stiff and rolled up adult pangolin, who after attempts at evaluating its health status in the bush, didn’t seem to be able to uncoil itself.
AfriCat Veterinarian, Dr Rodenwoldt, collected the little guy and upon first inspection, suspected it had suffered from some kind of physical impact to its body, which combined with the rainy/ wet weather, caused a suspected shock/pain reaction.
Unaware of its physical status, it was decided to place it into an Oxygen chamber for half the day at room temperature. After having settled down, it immediately uncurled itself and started showing signs of activity. We weren’t able to evaluate the lower body/chest area without sedation, which we wanted to avoid at all cost. Once it started scurrying about, looking for an escape, we decided to attached the transmitter and it was released it within the hour.
***Please NOTE – the Pangolin is an endangered species, therefore having a MET (Ministry of Environment & Tourism) Permit is of utmost IMPORTANCE & research tags can only be made use of if the correct permits have been obtained.***
Release took place in the original pick-up area, which lasted approx. 8-10 minutes. Once it uncoiled itself, it started to investigate its surroundings in an intended, co-ordinated and meaningful way, focused on a certain direction, it set off immediately. It seemed there was very little that could have resulted in a sudden change of heart, once it had started its mission. It slowed down at a shrub to start looking for ants, when Dr Rodenwoldt tried again to see whether any damage had been caused to its soft underbelly, however other than an immediate thrash of the tail followed by it curling up again, we decided to let it be. Seconds after, it took off once more to the next thicket, where it started feeding…
Its body weighed in at 9,7kg, externally no signs of trauma, face visually symmetrical, both eyes appeared to be normal in size and coordination.
We will be checking in with it over the next few days, just to ensure all is well…
What a way to end the weekend…😀
© Diethardt Rodenwoldt & Jenny Noak