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WATCH | Meet Ditsi, the pangolin who lives at a KZN game reserve for now and loves to swim – a lot

Business Insider SA
Screengrab.
Screengrab.
  • A ground pangolin who is being rehabilitated in KawZulu-Natal really loves to swim –  and watching her joy is infectious.
  • She was taken by traffickers in the North West in 2021.
  • Pangolins are the most trafficked mammals in the world.
  • For more stories visit www.businessinsider.co.za.

Dithlong – Ditsi for short - is a Temmincks's pangolin who is being rehabilitated at the Manyoni Private Game Reserve, according to Latest Sightings.

She was rescued from the illegal wildlife trade after being taken by traffickers in North West in 2021. Ditsi is currently being supervised by the Zululand Conservation Trust before being released back into the wild. For now, though, she spends her afternoons frolicking in water. And she really, really loves it – a lot!



10 pangolin facts
  • According to the World Wide Fund for nature, pangolins are the most trafficked mammals in the world. They are highly sought after for their unique scales and meat.
  • They can eat up to 70 million insects each year, but they generally prefer ants – and are also known as scaly ant-eaters.
  • Pangolins eat only 19 specific ants and termites, which they locate by smell - they can even smell prey under the soil.
  • Pangolin comes from the Malay word for roller ‘penggulung’. When threatened, a pangolin will cover its head with its front legs, exposing its scales in self-defence. If touched it will roll up into a ball completely. Its sharp scales can be used to lash out. 
  • In South Africa, the savanna woodlands are the pangolin’s choice of habitat and they can be found in northern KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and parts of North West. 
  • A fairly new fossil of a pangolin Eomanis was found of Eocene Germany, and another in the lower Oligocene in North America.
  • Their sticky tongues can reach 71cm in length, allowing them to slurp up insects.
  • Pangolin scales are made of keratin – the same material as human fingernails.
  • Pangolins can move at a speed of 5km/h.
  • The pangolin is about 1 metre in length  and weighs 4.5 kg to 14.5 kg.


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