S'pore cyclist rescues young pangolin off a road despite 'sweet melody of horns' from drivers

He tried to talk the pangolin out of walking along the road.

Alfie Kwa | July 30, 2021, 01:16 AM

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Living in an urban city is not easy for wildlife and roadkill is one of the greatest threats to these wild residents.

In a Facebook post on Singapore Wildlife Sightings, Michael Lim said that he was lucky to have spotted a critically-endangered Sunda pangolin.

Sunda pangolins are one of the wild native residents but this species is threatened by illegal wildlife trade globally.

Instead of poaching, the main threat to these scaly mammals in Singapore are on the roads.

In this case, Lim spotted the young pangolin in such a precarious situation as it had somehow wandered off its natural habitat.

Lim wrote in the post that he "escorted" the critter "across two roads to the other side".

Despite some vehicles sounding their horns at him, Lim made sure that the pangolin was guided up a curb to safety.

He posted a video of his experience in the Facebook post on Tuesday (July 27) which he wrote:

"I was cycling along a dual carriageway and was lucky enough to spot a baby pangolin. However, it was crossing the road precariously and instinctively I escorted him across two roads to the other side, stopping fast moving vehicles along the way to the sweet melody of horns. Had to help him up the kerb to safety before I continue my journey."

The rescue

In the video, the cyclist can be seen trailing the pangolin that was crawling next to the double yellow lines of a road with fast moving vehicles.

He began talking to the animal.

"Hello, where are you going?"

"Go up, go up."

"Hey baby, you need to go up or get hit by the car."

While walking along the road, the pangolin walked over a drain, got its hind limb caught, and stumbled.

Being an animal with really poor eyesight, it probably didn't see the drain in time.

But it was quick to get back up and continued on its journey.

Used the bike to corner pangolin but failed

Out of desperation, the cyclist then used the front wheel of his bicycle to corner the animals to the side of the road, hoping that it would move up to the grass patch.

But he failed to do so as the determined little pangolin climbed through and continued on its way.

Lim attempted it again but this time, he quickly lifted the bike to the grass patch by the side of the road.

As the pangolin was still mid-way through the wheel, he managed to hold it and gently place it onto the grass patch.

"Go go go," he said, cheering the pangolin on as it trudged its way through the thick grass and away from the busy road.

Moving further and further away, the cyclist bid his goodbye to the animal.

Won praises for his kind act

Many netizens praised the cyclist for how he helped the pangolin.

Screenshot of comment by Facebook user Ong Alan.

Screenshot of comment by Facebook user Roberta Ong.

Screenshot of comment by Facebook user Bob Kai Meng.

A few were amused by the way Lim was "talking" to the animal.

Screenshot of comment by Facebook user Steven Tay.

Screenshot of comment by Facebook user Viinne Liu.

Pangolins critically endangered

The Sunda pangolin is listed as “critically endangered” in the Singapore Red Data Book 2008 and by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

Its scaly exterior can protect itself from natural predators in the wild but it is not enough to protect them from the impact of a fast-moving vehicle.

Being such a slow-moving creature, it is also often injured or killed by vehicles when it strays onto roads in Singapore.

While poaching is not the main threat to them in Singapore, a commenter also kindly reminded the importance to not reveal the specific location of where the pangolin was sighted to protect the animals from possible poachers.

Screenshot of comment by Facebook user Auzistar Sox.

However, if you ever sighted a pangolin, you can inform the Singapore Pangolin Working Group via this form.

Data collected by the group will be used strictly for pangolins conservation purposes.

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