Philippines discovers pangolins on Chinese poacher boat

This undated handout photo received on April 10, 2013 and released by the Philippine coast Guard (PCG) shows coast guard personnel inspecting the Chinese fishing vessel which ran aground off Tubbataha reef in Palawan island, western Philippines. A Chinese fishing boat has run aground on a World Heritage-listed coral reef in the Philippines, roughly 1,600 kilometres (1,000 miles) from China’s nearest major landmass, authorities said April 9. AFP PHOTO/PCG

MANILA – The Philippine coast guard said Monday it had found hundreds of frozen scaly anteaters, or pangolins, in the cargo hold of a Chinese boat that ran aground in a protected marine sanctuary last week.

 

Wildlife officials have been informed of the surprising discovery, which could lead to more charges for the 12 Chinese men arrested on charges including poaching after their boat was stranded in Tubbataha Reef last week.

 

“We found 400 boxes containing anteaters aboard the vessel, and we are now determining where these came from,” coast guard spokesman Lieutenant Commander Armand Balilo told AFP.

 

He could not say whether the pangolins were frozen alive, or had already been butchered as meat.

 

A protected species, pangolins are widely hunted in parts of Asia for their meat, skin and scales. In China, they are known as a delicacy and are purported to have medicinal qualities.

 

According to the International Union of Conservation of Nature, all eight species of the insect-eating mammals are protected by international laws around the world.

 

Two – the Malaysian and Chinese pangolins – are in its “red list” of endangered species.

 

Pangolins are also found roaming in the wild in the western Philippine island of Palawan, the nearest land area to Tubbataha Reef where the Chinese boat had been marooned.

 

Balilo said the vessel remained stuck in Tubbataha, while the coast guard awaited arrival of a salvage ship to tow it it away.

 

Prosecutors charged the 12 Chinese fishermen last week with illegal poaching and with corruption for attempting to bribe Filipinos officials, and if convicted they could face long jail terms.

 

It was not immediately clear however what additional charges, if any, are to be filed against them with the discovery of the pangolins, Balilo said.

 

The grounding of the 48-metre (157-foot) boat came amid deep tensions between the Philippines and China over competing territorial claims to the neighbouring South China Sea.

 

China claims virtually all of the South China Sea on historical grounds, including waters close to the shores of its neighbours.

 

The Philippines, as well as Vietnam, have accused China of bullying other claimants as it aggressively stakes out its claims.

 

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  • AllaMo

    If Filipino drug-mules deserve the death penalty in China, then the Philippines must only repay the courtesy by executing these Sino-poachers.

  • BIGButo

    China must pay a big fine and cut up there boat to prevent further damage to the reef just like the USA had to do!

  • BIGButo

    Pay your fine the Philippines need lots of your money

  • Patikotiko

    Don’t forget to check the guns they throw overboard okay?

  • DarkSideOfTheMoon2

    shoot them all….

  • $26149191

    Small penis that’s why they Pangolins!!! They wanted to be bigger. Poor people.

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