From 236 grams to 5kg - this pangolin was separated from her mother but is thriving against the odds

15 April 2021 - 07:53 By cebelihle bhengu
Tot, a female pangolin, was separated from her mother after she was rescued from the illegal wildlife trade last October. She is now 5 months and thriving in her natural habitat.
Tot, a female pangolin, was separated from her mother after she was rescued from the illegal wildlife trade last October. She is now 5 months and thriving in her natural habitat.
Image: Instagram/ Johannesburg Wildlife Vet

Weighing 236 grams at birth to now being almost 5kg, learning to be a pangolin, healthy and thriving. This is the inspirational story of Tot, a female Temminck's pangolin under the care of the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital.

Born to Tayta, a mother that was unable to care for her after she was rescued from the illegal wildlife trade and had severe pneumonia among other health concerns, the pup is strong and happily exploring its natural habitat at five months old.

The hospital regularly updates followers on social media about her progress and told TimesLIVE on Wednesday that Tot now weighs 4.8kg.  

In a recent update shared on social media, it said Tot is now “finding and feeding on pugnacious ants and their eggs under rocks and at the base of trees. Hand-reared mammals, pangolin included, have all the necessary instincts it takes to be the species they are.” 

The hospital found out the pup's mother Tayta was pregnant during medical tests and CAT scans last October. Because she was unable to produce enough milk for her little one, they had to be separated to ensure they were both well taken care of.

A decision was made to separate the two, to ensure that we could effectively treat Tayta and keep Tot alive too. It is sad that due to the ongoing pangolin poaching crisis, this little pup and her mother cannot enjoy a natural life together,” it said last year.


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