File photo: CGTN
Nearly 900,000 pangolins are believed to have been trafficked across Southeast Asia in the past two decades, a wildlife watchdog said Thursday, highlighting the challenge in tackling the illicit trade.
Also known as the scaly anteater, the shy, primarily nocturnal animals have been heavily poached for years in biodiverse Southeast Asia and are being increasingly targeted in Africa.
In a new report, watchdog TRAFFIC estimated about 895,000 pangolins had been smuggled between 2000 and 2019 in Southeast Asia.
It also noted that over 96,000 kilograms (210,000 pounds) of the creatures' scales were seized in Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam between 2017 and 2019 alone.
"Not a day goes by without a wildlife seizure taking place in Southeast Asia, and all too often in volumes that are jaw dropping," said Kanitha Krishnasamy, director for TRAFFIC in the region.