WEST MILTON – A team of researchers with the non-profit organization called Miami Conservational recently ventured into a protected, remote corner of Miami County known as West Milton. Instead of poachers, they found a special visitor.
In one particular patch of trees, researchers discovered a Pangolin; an endangered species that is fighting extinction – along with 2 silver eggs and a pile of crystals.
“It was amazing. We peeked through some brush, and there she was, just laying in the dirt with her eggies. It might have been the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” said Darrel Boone of Miami Conservational.
Boone and his team have brought the Pangolin into their facilities, and have even given her a name: Babe. Boone stated that “Babe’s story is one that reminds us of how everyone is different. She’s not native to our county, but we’re welcoming her with open arms. We have some cages that she can fit into pretty comfortably. We also feed her Oreos and cheeseburgers so she can get a taste of our culture.”
The Pangolin is a rare animal found in Asia, known for its gnarly toenails and thick scales – which can be ground into a powder and snorted as a recreational drug. They also have really tiny heads, but please don’t make fun of them for that. They are scaled anteaters that could probably tear your flesh apart if they so desired.
The species is highly trafficked, and protected by an international ban on their trade. Yet, this species has suffered from illegal trafficking – which is how Miami Conservational suspects Babe made her way to Miami County. Now, Boone and his team have to decide on what to do with the Pangolin and her silver eggies.
“Realistically, Pangolins don’t belong in our climate, but we’d love to keep Babe around. We now face the major decision of bringing her back home, or protecting her here in a controlled climate,” stated Boone. “We also have a few spare rusty cages in our facility that we could use. We’ll figure something out.”
Miami Conversational is currently holding Babe at their Tipp City facility, with a few sleeves of Oreos and her special crystals. Please share the hashtag #SaveBabe, and subscribe to the Miami County Bugle Caller for updates on Babe’s situation.