A pangolin rescued from poachers looks over his caregiver’s shoulder at a rescue and rehab center run by the Tikki Hywood Foundation in Zimbabwe, where he’s being trained to return to the wild.
12 photos show the adorable pangolin in all its glory
Meet the pangolin—an animal unlike any other on Earth.
They look like reptiles, all covered in scales. They look like armadillos, the way they roll up in a ball. They look like anteaters, with those long snouts and tongues. And they look like dinosaurs, lumbering and ancient.
But when I met pangolins for the first time in real life, what surprised me most was their personalities. Tamuda was bold and stubborn. Luleko was shy and sweet. Both had been rescued from the illegal wildlife trade in Zimbabwe and were recovering in the care of the Tikki Hywood Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to wildlife rescue and conservation. Pangolins are among the most widely poached mammals—their scales are in demand for use in traditional Chinese medicine.
When I looked into