2016 has seen a large rise in confiscated pangolins being transferred to our rescue centre in Cuc Phuong National Park. In 2016 we have received over 250 pangolins and 10 small carnivores to our centre which have sometimes stretched our capacity. We have just completed the building of 12 new quarantine enclosures to cope with the increased demand.
The new multi-functional enclosures can house pangolins and small carnivores and bring to a total of 32 quarantine enclosures in addition to existing enclosures for our longer term residents who cannot be released due to health or safety reasons.
The quarantine enclosures are for short term residents of our centre. Once an animal is transferred to us, it spends generally 20- 30 days in quarantine while its health is monitored prior to its release back to a safe habitat in the wild.
Critically endangered pangolins are very susceptible to captive stress and have very special housing requirements. They need safe climbing space, a sleeping burrow where they can feel safe and secure (and warm in winter), and easy access for keepers so they can monitor pangolins with minimum disruption while they are recovering from wound injuries, digestive problems, stress and dehydration that are common in confiscated animals.
The quarantine enclosures are designed to house two animals at a time if required, however ideally we house animals individually. This is because pangolins are solitary animals and most do better when housed alone. Although on some occasions we have observed that some pangolins prefer a companion in their enclosure. Mothers and pups remain together until the pup is independent and ready for release. This may take up to six or nine months and so these animals are moved to a larger pangolarium while awaiting their eventual release back to wild.