Pangolins are more S’porean than otters & deserve more TLC from us

Do you know your fellow Singaporeans well enough?

Zhangxin Zheng |Sponsored | March 5, 07:10 pm

Do you know what pangolins are?

No? We guessed as much.

Most of us are probably more familiar with these two ‘pangolins’:

Image from Pokemonpets.

Is Sandshrew your Pokémon bias?

Screengrab from Toggle.

And Xie Shaoguang as a pangolin in the Channel 8 show, Legend of the Eight Immortals.

But we digress.

Pangolins aren’t mystical or fictional, and definitely not evil like the Channel 8 version.

In fact, some of them are actually native to Singapore – the Sunda pangolins.

Here’s how Singaporean they are.

Born and bred in +65

Sunda pangolins are born and bred Singaporeans.

Since we are commemorating the bicentennial, it’s perhaps interesting to note that Sunda pangolins probably called this island home before Raffles came.

Their postal code? Forested areas like Central Catchment Nature Reserve and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

Which means pangolins are way harder to spot, unlike the otters.

However, they are occasionally spotted in residential areas taking a leisurely stroll.

Photo by WRS.

Paiseh and low-key

One of the reasons why you don’t see them as often is also because they are naturally shy.

Pangolins in Singapore prefer to lead a low-key life by staying away from the limelight.

When spotted by human-beings who just want to befriend them, they are often in a hurry to scurry back to the forest.

Like this:

(Video from Peanuts Lee at Bukit Brown Cemetery, via Beng Tang)

Sorry to disturb your morning walk, bruh.

That aside, another reason is that there are very few of them left, not only in Singapore, but globally.

Pangolins are made increasingly vulnerable in Singapore due to the loss of forested areas from our rapid urbanisation.

As such, they tend to wander into urban areas where they might get into accidents.

So remember to slow down when driving near forested areas.

Photo by WRS.

Nocturnal & poor eyesight

Pangolins have extremely poor eyesight too, just like us Singaporeans.

Singapore has one of the highest rates of myopia, over 80 percent of adults are short-sighted.

However, pangolins did not ruin their eyesight from too much screen time but because they are nocturnal animals.

Their eyes are much smaller compared to the rest of their body but they have a keen sense of smell.

Pangolins in Singapore forage for food such as ants and termites or dig their burrows at night, just like Singaporeans with our late-night snacking.

(Video by NParks)

High fibre, high protein diet

Singaporeans have a similar diet to Pangolins as well.

For those who enjoy your acai bowl and protein shakes, pangolins are also much like you with their high fibre, high protein insect-based diet.

Here’s something interesting — they are such picky eaters that the zookeepers have to revise their menu for these folks at the Night Safari over time.

Now they enjoy porridge with crude fibre made from grounded termite mounds and ant eggs.

Stop at two

Like many Singaporeans who want to have children, one or two is also enough for Pangolins.

However, giving birth to one or two Pangopups is not enough to boost their low population, sounds familiar?

However, with just one or two Pangopups, Pangoparents make sure they spend quality bonding time with their precious ones by carrying them on their tail as they travel around.

Photo by WRS.

Or for a stroll.

Baby pangolin clings onto mummy’s tail as they take early morning stroll in Singapore Zoo

Pangolin parents also take education seriously.

Here they are, enrolling in universities.

Pangolin strolls down stairs at NUS University Town like a real degree holder

Silly pangolin lost its way in NTU, helped back into wild by kind humans from Acres


Defence mechanism

So how do pangolins deal with stress? They curl into a ball to protect their soft underbelly.

Photo by WRS.
Photo by WRS.

Like this:

Or this:

However, curling into a ball isn’t really a practical defence strategy for neither us nor the pangolins.


Share some love with these Singaporeans

Now that you’ve learnt more about this group of Singaporeans, do share some love for Sunda pangolins.

Here’s one way you can do so: Share this image with the hashtag – #TogetherForWildlife and include the following caption:

Did you know that pangolins in Singapore are critically endangered? Like this post and share it on Instagram with #TogetherForWildlife to raise awareness for pangolins.
For every post, @wrs.ig will pledge $1 towards wildlife conservation this March. @[friend] and @[friend]., join me and together, let’s scale up our love for pangolins!

Like this:

Do remember to keep your profile public so that your pledge can be seen!

For more information, please go to www.togetherforwildlife.sg.


Top photo from Toggle and WRS

This sponsored post is brought to you by the Wildlife Reserves Singapore who loves pangolins and all animals. Of course.

About Zhangxin Zheng

Zhangxin’s favourite pastime is singing Mulan’s soundtrack in the mangrove forests. She hopes to perfect the art of napping in a hammock in the mangroves without being drowned by rising sea levels.

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