Target: Swaziland King Mswati III
Goal: Save the pangolins in Swaziland from being poached for local and Asian markets.
2,500 Pangolins are poached in Swaziland annually. Despite pangolins being on the Red List of Threatened Species, the country’s officials are doing nothing substantial to stop the poaching. Arrested poachers are reportedly released for a simple bribe, and only the low level poachers are even targeted. Unfortunately for the pangolins, their skin is more valuable than they are alive, ensuring death for the poached animal.
Pangolins are poached and prized for mythical qualities derived from their body parts. In China it is believed that pangolin scales cure infertility in elderly women, cancer, and measles. The milk and blood is considered an aphrodisiac in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Superstitions in Swaziland teach that leaders who eat the liver and drink the blood of a pangolin will live until 80 years without contest to their rule. As a result of this belief, leaders will grant land in exchange for pangolin.
Without enforcement of the laws against poaching pangolins the species will soon cease to exist in Swaziland. By signing the letter below you will put pressure on King Mswati III to crack down on poaching of the innocent pangolin, saving the endangered species.
Dear King Mswati III,
2,500 Pangolins are poached in your country every year. At this rate it will not be long before the species is completely eradicated within Swaziland’s borders. The species of pangolin in Swaziland is on the Red List of Threatened Species and needs to be treasured and protected.
Allowing poachers to operate within your border without repercussions has made Swaziland the number one source of pangolins on the black market. Your police reportedly only target poor citizens who poach to survive, and arrested poachers are released in exchange for a simple bribe. This is extortion, not punishment.
On top of the police extorting citizens, leaders within your country will give land in exchange for pangolins. This sets a bad precedent for enforcing the ban on poaching pangolins, and actively encourages Swaziland citizens to poach pangolins.
Please begin cracking down on all pangolin poaching. The pangolin is almost gone, do not turn a blind eye as it disappears in your country.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: David Brossard