Trenggiling is scaly eaters and actually knows as mammals from the Pholidota ordo. One surviving family, Manidae, has three genera, Manis consisting of four species that live in Asia, Phataginus which consists of two living species in Africa, and Smutsia which consists of two species also living in Africa. These species vary in size from 30 100 cm (12-39 in). A number of extinct pangolin species are also known. The name Trenggiling comes from the Malay word “pengguling”. Pangolin is found naturally in tropical regions throughout Africa and Asia.
Pangolin demand for “Human” is always high in Asia. Starting from the scales used in traditional Chinese medicine, to the meat which is a luxury meal in Vietnam.
Skin of Trenggiling – made from keratin, which is also found in human nails – are in great demand for traditional Chinese medicine. It is said that these scales can cause arthritis, increase milk production, and become a powerful drug for men. However, actually, there is no scientific research that supports this belief. “(Pangolin scales) are part of their culture and are used in more than 60 Chinese herbal products as medicines,” said Prof. Ray Jansen from the African Pangolin Working Group
The group noted that there were 19,000 tons of anteater scales that were illegally traded from Africa in 2016; 47 thousand tons in 2017; and 39 thousand tons in 2018. “This is only a successful trade we fail, only about 10 percent of all trade,” added Prof. Ray.
“The total is close to 390 thousand tons of scales last year,” he added. According to the Traffic organization, illegal international trade in anteater has increased in recent years. Indonesia is among the top 10 countries involved in the trade. As a result, Indonesia loses up to 10 thousand pangolins annually, including the endangered Sunda (Manis javanica).
“This is a warning that Indonesian animals are being hunted on a commercial scale to meet the global demand for illegal trade,” said Kanitha Krishnasamy, Director of Traffic for Southeast Asia.
From 2011-2015, there were 111 cases of anteater confiscation in Indonesia, with more than 35,000 pangolins being confiscated, according to Traffic. While a few weeks ago, Sabah police, Malaysia confiscated 61 live pangolins, 361 kilograms of scales, and 1,800 boxes containing frozen anteaters.
In China, the price of anteater scales increased from 11 US dollars (equivalent to 155 thousand rupiah at the current exchange rate) per kilogram in the 1990s to 470 US dollars (6.6 million rupiah) in 2014, according to research by Beijing Forestry University.
Earlier this month, Hong Kong customs seized 8.3 tons of pangolin scales and hundreds of elephant ivory worth a total of 8 million US dollars (113 billion rupiah), emphasizing the number of rare animals in Asia that are threatened by illegal trade.