Police in Vietnam’s northern Thai Binh province have handed over 61 wild pangolins, which belong to the Manis javanica species, to a national non-profit organization Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW)

The pangolins were seized by the Thai Binh police while being illegally trafficked on Tuesday, reported Vietnam’s state-run news agency VNA on Thursday.

Three of the pangolins were already dead, while one was seriously ill, SVW said in a statement.

Experts from SVW said the pangolins would now be cared for at the rescue center in Vietnam’s northern Cuc Phuong National Park before being released back into nature in good health.

According to SVW, 53 pangolins have been returned to the nature in the last two months.

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Vietnam has two pangolin species, the Sunda Pangolin, or Manis javanica, and the Chinese Pangolin. Both species are critically endangered, meaning they are in imminent threat of becoming extinct in the wild.

Pangolins are the most illegally traded animals in the world.

Vietnam prohibits the capture and trade of pangolins.

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Author: ANA Newswire