It’s not uncommon for mice and other vermin to try to creep into a dorm room, sorority or fraternity house. After all, it’s not hard to figure out where there’s almost always going to be food.
Animals seem to instinctively know that the owners of the rooms aren’t usually the best housekeepers in the world either. Without a mom to pick up after them, it’s easy to create a prime situation for bugs and rodents to have a field day with.
Most of the time when an unexpected rodent or insects show up, a call is made to the house mother or to the dorm supervisor. Before long, someone shows up with traps or sprays to try to take care of the critter.
But, if you are going to school in Singapore, you might get a visitor a little outside of the normal mouse and ants venue. And it might take something beyond a simple little mouse trap or bug spray to take care of the problem.
You’d think that an endangered species would do everything possible to keep itself out of the public eye. Especially if it has become critically endangered because its flesh is considered a delicacy. Doubly so if its skin is considered akin to a treasure.
But, this endangered mammal ended up in the common room of a dorm at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Nobody knows exactly what it was going after when it so diligently clawed and chewed its way through the closed door. Since their diet consists mainly of insects, one would imagine that it simply followed a trail of bugs that were making their way inside.
You can tell by the amount of sawdust on the floor that it had worked quite diligently to get through the door. Imagine its surprise when it didn’t end up inside a log or cave. Instead, it found itself in a huge empty space on a clean tiled floor.
Most of the students had no idea what the little creature was. Understandably concerned, they knew that this was beyond the expertise of the usual campus staff. Instead, they reached out to the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) right away.
By the time rescuers showed up, the frightened animal had curled up into a ball. The students were later told that is its only natural defense mechanism. The Pangolin’s only true defense is its almost indestructible armor that protects it from nearly all predators. Except human.
The creature was extremely lucky that it chose that particular door to chew through. If he had entered a lot of other residences, he might not have ended up in such kind hands.
The Pangolin, as the students learned, is a rare creature that is on the critically endangered list. Despite its rarity, it is still hunted and killed for its meat, considered a delicacy. Its leathery scales are treasured for clothing and for use in medicinal treatments.
In the last decade alone, it’s estimated that roughly one million pangolins have been traded. Somewhere between 116,990 and 233,980 pangolins were killed between 2011 and 2013.
On the black market, a Pangolin can go for as much as $1000. But, the students never once thought of cashing in on the little creature’s misfortune. Instead, they helped rescuers get the little guy into a plastic pet carrier.
From there, the ACRES staff carried him back to a remote part of the jungle where he could hopefully reproduce and avoid poachers. “Most of the time in Singapore, wild animals get lost in our urban jungle and just need a bit of help to get relocated back safely into a natural habitat,” ACRES director Kalai Balakrishnan said in an interview.
Having learned a hard lesson about going into unfamiliar places, it took the little Pangolin a few minutes to decide to leave his apparently safe plastic home.
Eventually, he ventured outside and waited to see if anything else unexpected was going to happen to him. Probably by this point, nothing would have surprised him.
After a few moments of getting his feet back underneath him after such an eventful morning, he began easing off towards the safety of the jungle he was probably swearing to never leave again.
It should be noted that ACRES is the only organization dedicated solely to wildlife rescue in all of Singapore. They need donations now more than ever to continue to do the hard work necessary to help rescue and protect critically endangered animals like the Pangolin.
We sincerely hope he finds a mate and they get down to the business of repopulation. Shame on those that profit from the senseless killing of such rare and unusual creatures.
Kudos to the students who were concerned enough to be sure that the proper authorities were called. We hope they all know how important their actions were. Saving just one of such a rare and special species makes a huge difference.
Source: Honest to Paws