As we get older we human beings are capable of all manner of self-deception. We go under the knife in the hope of looking younger. We take pills and potions of dubious efficacity.
But in the annals of human folly there is surely nothing more delusional than the belief still prevalent in large parts of Asia that a man can somehow rectify his waning virility by grinding and eating the scales of a pangolin.
And yet that is what they do. The tragedy is that all eight species of pangolin are now endangered, two of them critically so. We are losing them to poachers at a rate of 100,000 a year. They are smuggled, butchered and cooked – all for the sake of their mythical medicinal qualities.
Millions in the Far East are still brought up to believe that this creature is a walking pharmacopoeia – not only natural viagra but just the job for tackling kidney disease, skin complaints and helping to promote lactation. The result is that fully 20 per cent of all the world’s illegal wildlife trad, which itself drives so much other crime, is represented by the pangolin.
You don’t know what a pangolin is? You would not recognise one even if it bit you or licked you with its prehensile tongue? Well, in that case you are in the same position as 92 per cent of the people of this country, and that is perhaps why this animal’s plight is so sad. But today is World Pangolin Day, a chance to raise people’s awareness. So pay attention.
Source : Telegraph