Sand Rivers

Can Pangolins Swim?

10 October 2011

Every once in a while an extremely exciting and unusual sighting comes about. On one of our morning boat trips up to Stieglers Gorge, our guests Mark and Amanda spotted a rather strange animal that looks like a pine cone. It was in fact a Ground Pangolin the Holy Grail of animal sightings, these creatures are as hard to find as water is in the Atacama Dessert.

They walk on two legs using their tail to balance and wander round in search of termites or ants, which they dig for. The Pangolin is covered in extremely hard scales, when it feels threatened in curls up into a ball to protect its vulnerable belly. What made this sighting even more unusual and special was that the Pangolin was swimming!!!!!!!

Is it a pine cone?

Nope its a Pangolin!

Practicing its doggy paddle

When the Pangolin finally reached the shore of the Rufiji river it walked up through the rocks and into the leaf litter, eventually putting its head into the ground and rolling into a ball. Many thanks to Mark O'Sullivan who kindly let us use his fantastic photos for our Blog.

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