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Pangolins breeding at a Florida charity base

Discussion in 'United States' started by devilfish, 5 Sep 2015.

  1. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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  2. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Moderator Staff Member

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    The webpage for "Pangolin Conservation" is a simple regurgitation of the press release and an picture of a baby pangolin.

    How did this person import pangolins as an individual when the zoo world has not?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 5 Oct 2015
  3. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    Really? I didn't get that impression at all.
    I only attached the 'GoFundMe' link (which is a site you can use to make charitable donations to a cause or project) because it goes into a bit more detail about their future aspirations.
    On their facebook page it seems as though they are a respectable service and mention liaising with AZA facilities and future publications to progress husbandry (as on the above site). It's also rare for a scam to openly name the person in charge (unless they're a Nigerian prince).
    More details about other features, including the newly-developed diet, can also be found on the facebook page:
    https://www.facebook.com/PangolinConservation?fref=ts

    I'm glad that we have more captive pangolins doing well than we had previously thought!
     
  4. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I love pangolins! It would be great if they could be bred in captivity.
     
  5. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Moderator Staff Member

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    Are there any confirmed pangolins in the United States other than the one individual at the San Diego Zoo?

    Is there any independent confirmation that Justin Miller has bred pangolins as claimed in the press release?

    I don't want to be difficult about this, but this organization is claiming a major milestone in pangolin husbandry but not providing any documentation of it beyond the claim in the press release.

    My attempt to contact them through the Pangolin Conservation Facebook page resulted in me being blocked from the page.
     
  6. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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  7. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    Too good to be true, huh?
     
  8. pinkback

    pinkback Well-Known Member

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    This person is just a private breeder that has purchased and imported some wild caught Pangolins, adding to their misery. Supporting wildlife trade is not conservation. Many of the original animals died. A wild caught animal giving birth is not the same as breeding them, which is is being implied.
    The non profit " pangolin conservation" is a made up title for self promotion. It is not a genuine organisation, just one persons fantasy.
    The conservation organisations working with pangolins in Africa and in Asia are appalled that this import has taken place and that the American authorities have allowed it.
    Many zoos support pangolin conservation and this is not the way forward.
     
  9. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Moderator Staff Member

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    Do you have any information or links about any private imports of live pangolins into the U.S.? It seems like this would be pretty high profile information if it actually happened and I can't find any reference to it.

    Right now it looks like it is a guy possibly making a false claim about having pangolins. The only pangolin in captivity in the U.S. is at the San Diego Zoo from what I can find.
     
  10. Hyak_II

    Hyak_II Well-Known Member

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    I largely agree with Pinkback.

    Through other means I happen to know Justin Miller, and I can confirm that he does indeed have a very small number of pangolins in his possessions.

    However, I think his claims are farcical. His baby is from a wild captured mother and was conceived in the wild, and both baby and mother will most likely be dead within the next year. As well, he is about as far from a conservation minded non-for profit as possible. He is a single importer that cares about profit, being able to tell stories of his "achievements", and collecting animals.

    As for the pangolins, he has imported several over the years, all of them dying. How long these two will live, is anybodies guess (if I had to assume, this pregnant female is probably his last survivor from his most recent import), and going further, I would not at all be surprised to see them deceased shortly, as mentioned above. Most likely the mother will go first, and the baby soon after.

    Edit: Also as for the actual importing, the animals are legally imported into the country in non-dis-crept brown crates. any importers import many strange species without anyone ever hear a word. For instance, there are a number of privately owned Patagonian Sea Lions in the US, but did you hear anything about their imports?
    No.

    Anyways, back to the point. He claims to be importing them to send to zoos(and zoos only) to create breeding partnerships/programs, however those animals never leave his possession. If they manage for survive for more than a week or two, he will hold onto them until they inevitably perish. Zoo my rear end!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 5 Oct 2015
  11. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    Bummer. I did think it was suspicious that he said he was working with AZA zoos but refused to say which zoos.

    Side note, why is it pangolins are so hard to keep and breed in captivity?
     
  12. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I've seen notes on imports from various African countries such as Togo when looking at CITES and US Customs files from time to time. They definitely occur, but the animals almost certainly don't live long.

    There are also a lot of pangolin products imported into the US and there is currently a move to try and get all pangolin species onto the Endangered Species Act, which presumably would also halt live private imports?
    Protection Sought for Pangolins, World's Most Illegally Trafficked Mammals | Reuters
     
  13. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    They aren't actually that *hard* to keep in captivity per se - they just require very methodical husbandry which in turn requires the investment of time and money, something which a lot of collections are loathe to invest; as such those collections which are capable of keeping pangolins tend to be unwilling to risk failure by trying.

    Moreover, the more failures and wastage that take place as a result of the private trade, the more likely that legitimate collections will believe - however falsely - that pangolins cannot be kept in captivity. This is a pity, I feel, as the situation for certain pangolin taxa is now precarious enough that I believe that even if it is a costly long-term investment, collections now need to start seriously considering keeping pangolins in captivity, using the husbandry knowledge gained at collections such as Taipei and Leipzig.
     
  14. Crowthorne

    Crowthorne Well-Known Member

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  15. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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  16. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Another problem is that pangolins in Africa are kept alive and traded as a sort of living ladder, so when they arrive in conservationists hands are usually starved, dehydrated and/or very sick.
     
  17. Dicerorhinus

    Dicerorhinus Well-Known Member

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    Good lord, this is some first class nonsense.
     
  18. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    That's a shame. Pangolins are under such threat right now, if they can be kept well in zoos, that's good not only for potential conservation breeding, but also education. Not a lot of people know about pangolins, they're not charismatic megafauna, but having them in zoos could help get the word out.
     
  19. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Good lord, your long absence from posting on Zoochat hasn't made you any more pleasant :p

    If you genuinely feel it is nonsense to suggest that high losses of a taxon in private hands would potentially lead public collections to assume said taxon cannot be kept successfully - even if this were not the case - then I'd love to hear a reasoned counterpoint rather than an off-the-cuff dismissal.

    To illustrate my point, Zoo Leipzig have kept their pair of Chinese Pangolin successfully, and in good health, for something like eight years - this is about four times the previous record for the taxon in Europe. Taipei Zoo in Singapore, the source of these individuals, has had similar success in keeping the taxon and has actually had a number of successful breedings.
     
  20. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    Neat. I loooove pangolins (they look like fantasy creatures!) and it would make me super happy if zoos could keep them and help in their conservation. I just found out I might be going to San Diego in the summer, and if so, I won't let anything stop me from seeing the pangolin. :D