Rock Creek youth shines light on Pangolins

Creative Commons.

By Kadee Mae Johnson

Pangolins are shy, secretive and quiet creatures not like anything else on Earth.

Their claws can dig through concrete. Their thin, sticky tongues are as long as their bodies. And they can travel on their hind legs. These animals have walked the planet for more than 40 million years.

There are eight nearly extinct species – four in Africa and four in Asia.

Pangolins are the only mammals that have scales. Like human fingernails, their scales are made out of keratin. But this remarkable natural armor is the cause of their destruction.

In the last 20 years, the demand for Pangolin scales, which are used for Asian medicine, has decimated their numbers worldwide. Today, a Pangolin will be taken from the wild every five minutes.

[Editor’s note: Kadee will be running a lemonade stand this summer to raise money for the cause of helping the world’s Pangolin population. The Patriot will post when and where this stand will be when she opens it.]

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