Zimbabwe poachers target rare anteaters

An animal welfare group in Zimbabwe says poachers are now targeting rare anteaters because of a growing demand for exotic animal parts for Asian traditional medicine.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Thursday that the outer scales of a young male pangolin, a rare type of anteater that is legally protected, were recently removed by poachers in northwestern Zimbabwe.

The body of the anteater was recovered from poachers. The scales appeared to have already been sold, the group said.

It was one of three incidents reported this year involving poaching of the endangered nocturnal creature seen by many Zimbabweans as a symbol of power and mystery.

The scales are thought to have value in Asian medicine as a traditional remedy for a host of conditions.