"The most trafficked animal in the world"
Probably the worst label a species can be given, and one a lot of people have never heard of. There are eight species of Pangolins, four in Africa and four in Asia. While the Asian species are most at risk, all species are under threat, like this Ground Pangolin.
Pangolin scales are highly sought after in Chinese traditional medicine, where they're dried and ground up into powder, and used to "cure" anything from asthma to cancer. Just like rhino horn, there is no medicinal value, as they're made of keratin (the same stuff as our nails and hair).
For many years, the Asian species were the primary target of poachers and traffickers. As their numbers have reduced so much smugglers are now turning to African species.
There is still hope. There are some amazing organisations out there who dedicate their lives to protecting these amazing animals. We visited the Rare and Endangered Species Trust (REST) while in Namibia. Near Etosha National Park, their devotion to the Pangolin and other endangered species is to be admired. You can see more about their work here:
Equally, there is a dedicated non-profit Pangolin conservation organisation where you can get actively involved:
They need all the help they can get...