Drama as pangolin is airlifted, presented as evidence in a Kenyan court

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There was drama at the Narok Law Courts in Kenya on Monday as attendees scrambled to catch a glimpse of a pangolin that the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) had airlifted to the court as an exhibit.

The Daily Nation reports that the animal was presented in a case where three people are charged with dealing with the animal, which is believed to be the world’s most trafficked non-human mammal, at Empaash area in Narok South Sub-County, without a valid Kenya KWS permit.

NANJING, CHINA – JULY 13: A Chinese pangolin is seen on meadow at Zijinshan area on July 13, 2007 in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province of China. (Photo by Song Qiao/VCG via Getty Images)

The three, Daniel Kisaika, Daniel Tonyua and Sanchan Kisaika, were arrested on March 12 this year at their home where they had allegedly locked the animal in their house.

Appearing before Narok Chief Magistrate George Wakahiu, the three denied the allegations and through their lawyer, Martin Kamwaro, they pleaded with the court to release them on a lenient bond.

“My clients live in an area surrounded by wild animals and it is not a wonder if they find their way into their homestead while in search of food. I request the court to consider releasing them on lenient bail terms,” said Mr Ole Kamwaro.

The chief magistrate, however, denied the trio free bond on grounds that the animal was an endangered and protected animal. The court ordered the three to be released on a Sh1 million bond each with surety of a similar amount.

Mr Wakahiu directed KWS to file an affidavit for the animal to be released since it was still alive and continued detention was a threat to its life since no one knows its feeding habits.

KWS had airlifted the animal from Empaash to the Maasai Mara University grounds before the wardens trekked to the Narok Law Courts with it in a box.

Pangolins are the world’s only scaly mammals, and its scales make up about 20 per cent of its total body weight.

They are threatened by poachers due to high global demand for their scales and meat.

(With input from The Daily Nation)

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