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“TO DIE FOR:  the investigation continues…”  |  Wednesday 30 November 2016 09:55

 “TO DIE FOR:  the investigation continues…” TX DATE: 30 NOVEMBER 2016 on SABC 3

In this week’s episode, Special Assignment presents the latest episode in an ongoing investigation into the illegal trade in pangolins – the world’s most trafficked mammal – and the challenges in addressing this scourge in South Africa.

Once regarded as ‘the forgotten species’, the pangolin’s plight was widely publicized at CITES COP 17 – held in Johannesburg in September this year.  The global conservation world successfully lobbied for the up listing of the four Asian and four African pangolin species from Appendix II - restricted trade - to Appendix I - a total ban on all trade. But how effective will CITES legislation be in curtailing the trafficking of a prehistoric creature that is now worth a fortune due to skyrocketing demand in Asia? In South Africa, the supply of this critically endangered animal is driven by poaching middlemen motivated by poverty or opportunism. As a country are we adequately capacitated and committed to saving this species?

In this episode we speak to experts at the forefront of pangolin research and rehabilitation, but whose noble efforts are being hamstrung by funding challenges. We also discover that although the pangolin no longer languishes in obscurity, public awareness is still limited. And as we despair of witnessing this elusive creature roaming free in the wild, we realize that without sufficient government will to prioritise pangolin poaching – not to mention other crimes decimating our endangered wildlife - the pangolin could already be on the brink of extinction.   

Watch "TO DIE FOR:  the investigation continues…” produced by Hazel Friedman, broadcast on Special Assignment – Wednesday, SABC 3 at 21h30.

For more information contact:
The Special Assignment office: 011 714 6758/6451; Production Coordinator: Cleopatra Jones: 011 714 5419; Executive producer: Busisiwe Ntuli: 011 714 6451


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