MEDAN, Indonesia – Indonesian authorities say they arrested two suspected wildlife smugglers after a raid on a port warehouse in Sumatra uncovered more than 200 pangolins, many of them dead from stress and dehydration.
Ministry of Environment and Forestry official Halasan Tulus said Wednesday that only 110 of the 225 pangolins found in the raid by navy personnel at Belawan port in Medan were alive.
He said two men were arrested. The scaly anteaters, a perennial victim of wildlife trafficking, were destined for Malaysia and worth about 2.5 billion rupiah ($190,000).
Two dozen of the dead animals had already been skinned, according to Tulus.
Conservation groups say pangolins are the most heavily trafficked mammal in the world.
A U.N. wildlife conference last year approved a long-awaited ban on trade in all eight species of Asian and African pangolins.
The small creature is heavily poached for its meat and scales, which are used in traditional medicine in parts of Asia, driving the species toward extinction.