5 facts about the Sunda Pangolin to celebrate World Pangolin Day

If we had our way, every day would be Pangolin Day.

Joshua Lee | February 19, 2017, 04:36 PM

Yesterday, the world celebrated World Pangolin Day. World Pangolin Day falls on every third Saturday of February. It's not everyday that one gets to spot a pangolin so here's our FAQ to help you get a little more acquainted with these cuties:

image-3_baby-pangolin-climbs-tree_wrs Image via.

Is the pangolin a reptile?

Nope! A pangolin is a mammal, albeit one covered in scales. The scales of the pangolin are actually made of keratin - the same material that make up our hair and nails.

They are usually solitary animals which reproduce about once a year.

1 Image via WRS.

可以吃的吗 (Can it be eaten)?

Yes it can, although you really shouldn't. Pangolin meat is considered a Chinese delicacy, while its blood, foetus, and scales are used in Chinese medicine. Because of this high demand (coupled with the pangolin's slow reproductive rate), pangolin numbers are dwindling across the world.

0210.pangolins.144-autolevel.568 Image via.

Can it be found in Singapore? 

Yes! The Sunda pangolin can be found in Southeast Asia. In Singapore, pangolins can be spotted in our nature reserves as well as on Pulau Tekong and Pulau Ubin. On separate occasions, pangolins have been spotted trying to enrol in our universities:

Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 15.53.56

Unfortunately, because of our rapid urbanisation, our local pangolins are being forced out of their natural habitats. When they are driven out of their own homes, these slow-moving pangolins might wander onto roads and become roadkill.

What should I do if I see a pangolin?

NParks advises that you "do not touch, chase or corner them" and generally leave them alone. Feel free to Snapchat/Facebook Live/Instagram/blog your encounter but from a safe distance (for their safety, not yours).

If you spot a pangolin in distress, you should contact AVA or ACRES.

Pangolin101114_158 Please don't do this with a wild pangolin. Image via.

Can I bring home a pangolin to keep as a pet?


Removing a pangolin from the wild is illegal under the Wild Animals and Birds Act. Secondly, trading in pangolins is also banned under the Endangered Species (Import and Export; CITES) Act.


*Edit: An earlier version of the article incorrectly mentioned that World Pangolin Day fell on 19 February. This article has been updated to reflect the correction.

Top photo adapted from WRS.

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