Chinese drama about pangolin conservation to start shooting

By Ji Yuqiao Published: 2020/7/5 22:48:37

Photo: Courtesy of the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation

Shooting on a Chinese drama about pangolin conservation will begin next week, a representative from a Chinese environmental protection organization told the Global Times on Sunday. The drama aims to inform the public in a simple and interesting way about the urgent need to protect endangered animals such as pangolins.

The multiple-episode drama, produced by the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation, will cover pangolin conservation work carried out in China over the past five years, Zhou Jinfeng, general secretary of the foundation, told the Global Times.

Zhou said that the play will be divided into six chapters. "The first chapter explores the situation of pangolins around China over the past five years, while the next chapter will focus on pangolin rescue efforts around the world."

The third chapter will talk about pangolin conservation efforts. For instance, through the long-time endeavors of environmental organizations and the public, pangolins were upgraded in 2020 to first-class protected animal status in China and were formally removed from the latest version of the Chinese Pharmacopoeia, a compendium of drugs covering Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western medicine. 

The drama also seeks to correct misconceptions about pangolins when it comes to their medicinal value and inform the public about the beneficial role they play in nature. For example, pangolins benefit mankind by controlling ant and termite populations, and thus are able to help protect river levees and houses.

"A decreasing number of pangolins will lead to dam failures and overuse of pesticides on farms," Zhou said.

Photo: Courtesy of the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation

This content will be relayed through the true life story of Su Fei, a young 20-something member of the foundation.

Su has taken part in pangolin rescue efforts many times over the past few years. In March 2019, 103 pangolins were rescued from smugglers from Vietnam. Twenty-one of them were sent to a center for protecting wild animals in South China's Guangdong Province. Su applied to take care of these animals whose lives were hanging by a thread.

She accompanied them day and night, arranged for them to undergo CT examinations and blood tests, and even went out into the field to dig up ant nests to find the pangolins' natural food. She was bitten by ants many times while digging through these nests. 

To let pangolins have more comfortable living conditions, Su tried to send them to a natural environment and after changing the environment, these pangolins were in a better state, as Su said.

Pangolins are one of the world's most trafficked mammals. It is estimated that about 1 million pangolins were poached over the last decade, while 20 tons of pangolins and their parts are trafficked internationally annually, according to wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.

In China, the pangolin population has fallen by 88.88-94.12 percent since the 1960s. 

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