CrimeNews

Zambezi is eating every day

Zambezi has started eating daily after he was rescued from the claws of five poachers at the beginning of October.

Zambezi, the pangolin (Afrikaans: ietermagog) which was rescued from alleged poachers earlier this month, is doing well.

“He has started eating daily now,” said professor Ray Jansen of TUT and founder of the African Pangolin Working Group.

“Every evening we would take him outside to feed [pangolins eat ants and termites]. Previously, we had to tube feed him a protein mix, but now he can walk around outside by himself to eat.”

Jansen said that when a pangolin such as Zambezi is neglected, it takes weeks or even months for them to fully recover.

ALSO READ: UPDATE: Zambezi the pangolin showing signs of recovery

“It will probably take another six to eight weeks before Zambezi is fully restored.

“He was probably in captivity for more than two weeks.

“Besides the physical challenges such as his blood pressure and weight, there are also emotional challenges. ”

Jansen said that, like a rhino, a pangolin is a very “sensitive” animal and Zambezi suffers from post-traumatic stress after being poached.

ALSO READ: UPDATE: Zambezi’s life hangs by thread

“They are very sensitive and afraid of loud voices, music and cigarette smoking. They do not like it. You can see their reaction that they are scared,” said Jansen.

Jansen said that when Zambezi is fully restored, he would be released back into the wild following a “gentle release process”.

“When they are released back into the wild, we follow them for about a year to make sure they adapt in nature.”

Zambezi was rescued on 9 October when a member of the public contacted the police after five poachers tried to sell the animal to him.

ALSO READ: NEWSFLASH: Pangolin rescued from poachers in North

Provincial spokesman Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said four out of the five alleged poachers were arrested and charged for the sale, trade and possession of an endangered species without a permit.

The fifth poacher is still at large.

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