The Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital was treated to an unsuspecting surprise when a pangolin gave birth while vets were treating her, on Wednesday 13 November.
The team at the vet hospital has named their newest patient Mishwa. ‘Her name is derived from a Shona word meaning surprise,’ said the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital in a Facebook post.
The Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital is an NPC that treats small to medium-sized indigenous wildlife, rather than larger game.
‘We are hopeful, but cautious about this newborn, Mishwa, as she has been born in captivity and most likely prematurely too. Weighing 281grams of cuteness, we are hoping she grows up and lives in the wild like she ought to. Her chances at survival are guarded as prematurely born animals have underdeveloped lungs and the next few days are critical if she is to survive and be part of the future generation of pangolins,’ said the post.
Pangolins are the most trafficked animals in the world and no pangolins are kept on the vet hospital premises, as it puts the animals and staff in danger. They are treated at the facility for short periods and moved to a guarded, secure location.
UPDATE: Sadly, the pangopup has passed away.
‘After checking on mom Ellie and baby Mishwa, yesterday afternoon, Dr K found Mishwa was cold and weak. While her mom Ellie was feeding her, it seemed that she was not able to produce enough milk for little Mishwa.
Dextrose and a drip was administered to the little pup to build her strength and energy levels, and she was support fed throughout the night. Despite this, she seemed to get weaker and weaker and unfortunately passed away,’ said the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital in a Facebook post on the evening of Thursday 14 November.
*Update 15 November: Unfortunately the baby pangolin did not survive, the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital said in a subsequent Facebook post.
The NPC relies on donations so if you would like to support them these are the details:
Johannesburg Wildlife NPC
FNB Cheque account
Account nr: 62658400264
Branch code: 255355
Swift code: FIRNZAJJ
MySchool: MYSCHOOL: http://www.johannesburgwildlifevet.com/myschool-card.html
Images: Facebook/ Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital