If you’ve never seen one before, you might be shocked to know that they even exist. Yes, it’s the pangolin…the only mammals with scales, made from keratin (the same material as our nails and hair). Unfortunately, the feature that makes them so unique and is meant to protect them, their scales, is also why they have been hunted to near extinction.
Their scales are used in traditional medicines (as well as other parts of the animal), and pangolins are further targeted for consumption as a delicacy. Between January to August 2019, an estimated equivalent of 110,000 scales and pangolin parts were confiscated worldwide. The Sunda pangolin is now considered to be the most trafficked mammal in the world (IUCN 2014).