During the journey from Douala to Yaoundé or back, it is possible to come across a pangolin. At least, this ruminant is sold by amateur hunters or their relatives. Those fond of this meat cannot resist purchasing it; even though it is a protected species, and therefore prohibited from sale. The giant pangolin, one of the three species found in Cameroon, is fully protected and thus banned from consumption at the risk of facing convictions. The decision was taken at the world level in September 2016 by the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), held in South Africa.
“Cameroon is among the 182 member States in this group and has taken precautionary measures to respect this convention”, points out Eric Kaba from the non-governmental organisation Laga, who supports the government in the application of wildlife laws.
Which does not prevent illegal trade and seizures of several tons of pangolin scales. Three tons of scales; equivalent to approximately 10,000 pangolins, have just been seized in Yaoundé. In January, two Chinese were arrested with 5 tons of scales in their possession in Douala. An obviously thriving traffic considering the therapeutic properties, among others, that the pangolin is thought to possess.
This animal has since become an endangered species. Mr Kaba specifies that the law can be indulgent for a subsistence diet in the village, for example.