A Chinese pangolin has been born in the Prague zoo, the first birth of the critically endangered animal in captivity in Europe, and is doing well after initial troubles, the park said.

The baby’s birth weight was just 135 grams (4.76 ounces). Adults can reach up to 15 pounds. The Chinese pangolin is native to southern China and south-eastern Asia and is one of the four pangolin species living in Asia, while another four can be found in Africa.

Prague received the rare animal from Taiwan last year, becoming only the second European zoo to keep the species. The mammals are hunted heavily for their scales and meat. It’s estimated that almost 200,000 were trafficked in 2019 because of the scales that are used in traditional medicine in Asia and elsewhere.

They’re difficult to breed in captivity, because they require a special feed that includes drone larvae and need a particular humidity and temperature in their enclosure.

Published in Dawn, Young World, March 18th, 2023

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