A pangolin named Ally was rescued from poachers earlier in 2020 and rehabilitated by a team of South African veterinarians.
Now Ally has become the first captive on record to give birth after being rescued, treated and released back into the wild.
Ally, a Temminck’s pangolin, was retrieved from the illegal trade by the SAPS’s Endangered Species Unit in April.
She was rescued and treated by the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital in collaboration with the African Pangolin Working Group (APWG). After her rescue it was discovered that she was expecting.
Pangolins which have been poached are always compromised, some worse than others, and require a period of veterinary treatment. Once ensconced at a secure location in Johannesburg, Ally could begin to recover both mentally and physically from her trauma, the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital said on their Facebook page.
It was important for the pangolin to recover as quickly and gently as possible to prevent her miscarrying because of the high stress levels she had endured.
Ally was released into the wild and some weeks later, the APWG’s experienced release team noticed she had kept the same burrow for a couple of weeks, and they then placed camera traps to continue monitoring her.
This is an ideal way of monitoring the animal without causing any distress that could have affected her pregnancy or unsettled Ally.
In one of these recordings, the team saw that Ally had given birth and her pup was in the burrow.
This is the first-ever record of one of SA’s successfully retrieved and rehabilitated Temminck’s pangolins giving birth in the wild after release.
“We are all thrilled to share this wonderful success story and wish our born-free pangolin pup a safe, long and wild life,” the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital said.