Ongwediva – Community members in Oshakati were shocked to see a live pangolin walking around in the streets of Oshakati.
Although it is not known where it came from, both police and Ministry of Environment and Tourism officials suspect the animal was possibly captured in the wild but managed to escape from a cage somewhere in Oshakati.
Residents of Oshakati called the police yesterday around 06h00, informing them about the endangered animal roaming the streets.
Pangolins are not endemic to Oshana Region, let alone to the streets and most of the residents have never seen a live one for that matter, so it attracted a lot of attention.
Although no arrest was made, Oshana Police Deputy Regional Commander Deputy Commissioner Karl Theron said officers are still investigating the case.
“In my years in the north I have never come across a pangolin. They exist in other areas but not here. It is really possible that it was captured elsewhere and brought here,” said Theron.
Pangolins are among the world’s endangered animals. There have been several cases in which poachers have been prosecuted after being found in possession of live or dead pangolins.
“You cannot just capture a springbok and decide to tame it. Even if it is a guinea fowl, one needs a permit from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism,” said Theron.
An official in the environment ministry said there is a strong suspicion someone was keeping the animal in captivity and it somehow managed to escape.