First Chinese Pangolin Pup Born In Captivity Nursed With Feline Milk —Prague

The first critically endangered Chinese pangolin pup that was born in captivity is being fed feline milk at the Prague Zoo.

Chinese Pangolin Pup and Feline Milk

The baby pangolin’s weight loss during the first few days after its birth on February 2 concerned zoo staff.

The mother, Run Hou Tang, wasn’t producing enough milk, which was the cause of the pup’s weight loss. A system of artificial feeding with cat milk was introduced after discussions with Taiwanese experts, and the mother was encouraged to produce more of her own.

The plan was successful, and the zoo is now cautiously optimistic about the pup. Although the young pangolin doesn’t yet have a name, it earned the nickname “Little Cone” because it resembled a spruce cone.

Miroslav Bobek, the zoo director, said that although they have only cleared the first obstacle, there could be more to follow.

While adults can weigh up to 15 pounds, the baby weighs only about 135 grams during its birth.

Prague became the second zoo in Europe to house the endangered species after receiving it from Taiwan last year.

The pangolin male, Guo Bao, and the female, Run Hou Tang, were both bred at the Taipei Zoo, which is the foremost producer of these fiercely hunted mammals for their scales and meat.

The Chinese pangolin typically gives birth to just one offspring after a gestation period from 318 to 372 days, according to the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group. Around the end of their first year, females become reproductively mature.

Chinese pangolins dig deep burrows near termite nests, which serve as a source of food, and spend the winter there. These burrows keep a consistent temperature.

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Critically Endangered Pangolin

One of the four pangolin species found in Asia, the Chinese pangolin is native to parts of southern China and Southeast Asia. Four other pangolin species are found in Africa.

The pangolin scales that are reportedly used in traditional medicine in Asia and other regions are thought to have been the cause of nearly 200,000 trafficking incidents in 2019.

Because they need a special diet that contains drone larvae and specific humidity and temperature in their enclosure, they are challenging to breed in captivity.

The Chinese Pangolin Manis pentadactyla was most recently categorized as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2019.

The IUCN Red List notes that in China and Vietnam, pangolin meat is a luxury wild meat consumed by affluent individuals, and pangolin scales are used in traditional medicine for treating various ailments, including cancer, as well as improving skin conditions, blood circulation, and milk secretion in lactating women.

The arrival of the pangolins in Prague followed the city’s decision to rescind a sister-city agreement they had with Beijing and the signing of a comparable agreement with the Taiwanese capital, Taipei, in 2020. The partnership between the zoos was also a part of that agreement, which has led to tensions with China.

In 1949, the civil war caused Taiwan to break away from mainland China, but Beijing still regards the autonomous island as being on its soil.

The Czech Republic’s government acknowledges the one-China principle, but officials there said they preferred to concentrate on cooperation in the arts and other areas rather than politics, FOX News reports.

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