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Resource ID: #26940
Subject: Animals
Source: CNN
Affiliation: 
Date: April 2, 2014

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Description

The pangolin -- a little-known, scale-covered mammal -- is thought by scientists to be the most trafficked mammal in the world. Conservationists fear it could go extinct before most people realize it exists. To try to ensure that doesn't happen, CNN's John Sutter traveled, at times undercover, to Vietnam and Indonesia to introduce readers and viewers to this loveably introverted creature, and to expose the massive, illegal trade in its meat and scales. Traveling alone, and at times using hidden cameras and recording devices, Sutter met with wildlife traffickers and pangolin in Sumatra, Indonesia. He followed undercover wildlife cops in Hanoi, Vietnam, to a number of restaurants and markets that deal in pangolin products. This work exposed the ease with which pangolin traders are able to operate in these countries, in part because the pangolin has maintained a lower profile than rhinos and elephants. It also helped explain the rise in demand for pangolin scales and meat in Southeast Asia. Sutter's work also humanized and popularized the pangolin, a creature he described as “elusive, nocturnal, rarely appreciated and barely understood.”

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