Man has 'incredible encounter' with rare Sunda pangolin foraging for insects

Submitted by Stomper John

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Yet another Sunda pangolin was spotted by a wildlife enthusiast, much to his delight.

Stomper John Lee, founder of Wildlife Asia Singapore, shared that he had the 'most incredible encounter' with the critically endangered pangolin on Sunday night (Oct 15).

"During my walk, I heard a slight rustling noise up ahead and saw the faint glow of moonlight reflecting off something on the ground," he said.

"As I approached, I realised it was none other than the incredibly rare Sunda pangolin, busy foraging for ants and termites using its long, sticky tongue.

"It must have been a breathtaking sight to encounter a wild pangolin which is known for its unique appearance and behaviour.

"One thing that stood out to me was its incredible armour-like scales, which acted as an excellent defence mechanism against potential predators.

"Its long tongue was fascinating to watch as it searched for food.

"This encounter was a humbling reminder of the beauty of our natural world and the importance of protecting it.

"I will cherish this experience and continue to advocate for the preservation of the Sunda pangolin and its habitat."

John added that he only managed to capture a single shot of the animal before it realised it was being watched and quickly dashed straight into the thick forest undergrowth.

"The unique adaptations of the Sunda pangolin make it one of nature's most fascinating creatures," he said.

"With their population declining due to habitat loss and being the world's most highly poached wild animal through illegal trafficking, encounters with pangolins are incredibly rare.

"It's crucial to raise awareness and support conservation efforts to protect these incredible animals."

Other pangolins have recently been spotted by Stompers along the Rail Corridor and at Hillview

According to the National Parks Board (NParks), the Sunda pangolin is a shy, nocturnal, solitary mammal that curls into an armoured ball when threatened.

It is listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

The greatest threat pangolins in Singapore face is from rapid urbanisation which results in massive habitat loss.

"The slow-moving pangolins are also often injured or killed by vehicles when they stray off too far from the forested areas onto roads," NParks said on its website.

Here is what you should do if you encounter a pangolin:

  • Do not be alarmed. These animals are shy and will not attack humans.

  • Do not touch, chase or corner them, as they will be frightened by your approach. You are advised to leave them alone.

  • Observe them! It is not very often that you will get to see a live pangolin. Share your findings with pangolin research and welfare groups and/or Stomp.