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The pangolin is the strangest creature you didn’t know was endangered

Earlier this week, Thai police detained two pickup trucks. Hidden inside were 200 live pangolins.

While the fact that pangolins are even something that exists isn't exactly common knowledge, their illegal trade is a growing problem. The small, scaly mammals are heavily poached; their thriving black market trade is worth an estimated $19 billion per year. According to a report from Yale360, two of the four pangolin species in Asia are classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and two in Africa are nearing threatened status. All eight species are in dramatic decline.

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