One man in Singapore had a rather special encounter recently.
Zheng Lee was jogging late at night on Mar. 11 when he stumbled across a rare pangolin on the pavement.
Lee shared with Mothership that he initially believed it to be some other animal, but only realised it was the scaly creature upon approach.
The pangolin happened to be lying on its side, and Lee originally thought it was injured.
However as he moved closer, the pangolin got up and started climbing into the bushes.
Lee revealed it was his first time seeing the critter, a species native to Singapore classified as critically endangered by the IUCN.
Lee added that he saw a couple nearby, and proceeded to inform them of the sighting and usher them over for a closer look.
The pangolin then started heading in the direction of the forest. Lee said he waited for it to reach the forest before continuing on his way.
"Don't mention location"
Seeing a pangolin is undoubtedly an exciting moment.
Upon posting his photos on Facebook group Nature Society (Singapore), numerous commenters on Lee's post have banded together to protect the precious creature.
Many urged Lee to keep the location of the sighting a secret to discourage potential poaching and trapping attempts.
Pangolins are considered the most highly trafficked mammal in the world.
They are particularly sought after in China and Vietnam for the Traditional Chinese Medicine trade, where their scales are believed to have medicinal properties.
Singapore has also seen its fair share of pangolin scale seizures.
Our country serves as a bustling hub for international trade, and the National Parks Board, Singapore Customs, and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority have uncovered a number of illegal shipments of these commodities, originally en route to other Asian countries.
Hopefully, some of you might be lucky enough to spot a pangolin in the wild someday.
And if so, do keep its location a secret.
Top photo courtesy of Zheng Lee