Bringing Pangolins back to the Maasai Mara
One of our close friends and a neighbour at home, Claire Brainch, has started Kenya’s first Pangolin Project in the Masai Mara. This highly endangered species is hugely misunderstood by the local community – along with creatures like the chameleon, hyena and owls – and thought to be bringers of bad luck and misfortune.
Claire is working hard to educate the local community whilst at the same time working to closely monitor the individual pangolins to ensure their safety and protection. Unlike other wildlife species, pangolin are no threat to people. As ant and termite eaters, there is no competition between this species and people for food resources either. Nonetheless people that encounter the pangolin may harm or even kill the pangolin, unaware of this creatures perilous future.
Monitoring the pangolin takes time, patience and a huge team effort. This all pays off when strategically placed camera traps produce footage of this elusive and wonderful animal in their own habitat. The success of the project is due to collaboration between communities, tourism partners and conservationists.
Recently a small pup was born and shyly came out of their underground burrows to see daylight. With no opposable thumbs, it’s a fine balancing act to carry the pup out of the steep burrows – in this case, the pup chose a forward position on its Mama’s back to ensure it didn’t fall off!!
Follow The Pangolin Project on Instagram @thepangolinproject