Crazy looking creatures…
Pangolins’ scales are made of keratin, the same protein that makes up our own hair and nails. When pangolins feel threatened, they curl up into a tight, almost impenetrable ball to protect their tender undersides. If caught, they will thrash about using their tail muscles. Because their scales have very sharp edges, they can slice the skin of a human or predator when they do this. They may also release the stinky fluid from their glands as a defense mechanism.
Cost: Rs.450 (excluding packing and delivery charges)
Product: Cotton T-shirt (The names of the pangolin in the different languages are arranged as per their State and includes Nepali)
Sizes: Men and Women Sizes (S, M, L and XL)
As they have very long claws on their front paws, which are unsuitable for walking, pangolins often walk on their hind legs. They do not have teeth and are unable to chew. Instead, they have long sticky tongues that they use to catch the insects they feed on. It’s believed that a single pangolin consumes more than 70 million insects per year. They mainly eat ants and termites.
Pangolins have poor vision and hearing, but their sense of smell is quite strong. The illicit pangolin trade has become extremely lucrative. Wildlife Alliance’s Suwanna Gauntlett explained in an interview that the rate had reached a whopping US $200 per kilogram in 2011.
While some poachers kill the animal when they catch it, other times they may be kept alive by request from restaurants where they are destined for the dining table. A 2007 article in The Guardian quotes a Guangdong chef explaining the disturbing way in which the pangolins are prepared for the diners.
“We keep them alive in cages until the customer makes an order. Then we hammer them unconscious, cut their throats and drain the blood. It is a slow death. We then boil them to remove the scales. We cut the meat into small pieces and use it to make a number of dishes, including braised meat and soup. Usually the customers take the blood home with them afterwards.”