Palawan's Pangolin Protectors Get Awesome Christmas Gift From Mazda PH
Pangolins are as tough as they come in the wild. They’re the only mammals that have thick armored scales, which serves as their only means of protection aside from their wolverine-like claws against larger predatory mammals like cougars and lions. Unfortunately, they are almost defenseless against the greatest predator of all—humans. These scaly, reclusive, nocturnal anteaters are the most trafficked animals in the dark world of illegal wildlife trade.
Estimates say as many as 200,000 pangolins are taken annually from the wild across Asia and Africa. Their meat is prized as a delicacy in China, Vietnam and many parts of Africa, while their scales and even fetuses are used in traditional medicine. There are eight species of the pangolins including the Philippine pangolin, which was moved from “endangered” to “critically endangered” species last year by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN) according to WildAid, despite being under the protection of international law.
Jackie Chan with a pangolin
Also known as the Palawan pangolins, these poor animals continue to be hunted and trafficked along with the other species of pangolins in other regions. Martial arts superstar and actor Jackie Chan who’s also WildAid’s ambassador and also Mission Impossible III and Hong Kong actress Maggie Q made videos about the plight of these endangered pangolins.
The day before Christmas this year, Mazda Philippines formally turned over a BT-50 3.2-liter 4X4 Pangolin Edition to the Katala Foundation to support the NGO’s conservation activities for the endangered Palawan pangolin. Mazda Philippines introduced the new BT-50 Pangolin Edition pickup truck, which comes standard with upgraded 17-inch Rota Wheels and riveted fender flares, along with a new matte black finish for its front grille, aluminum roof rack and roll bars earlier this month as a tribute to raise awareness for the conservation of this animal.
The Katala Foundation has been using its trusty 24-year-old Mazda vehicle, a 1996 Proceed pickup, on population checking and monitoring activities of the pangolins in various locations in Palawan. The new BT-50 Pangolin Edition pickup truck will see action in the wild for one year as Mazda’s way of supporting the conservation initiatives of the foundation to include pangolin monitoring and population checking activities in different locations around Puerto Princesa, Palawan. The foundation is named after Katala, the local name of the Philippine cockatoo, which is endemic to the Philippines. It is a non-stock, non-profit NGO actively protecting and conserving wildlife endemic in the country, including the Philippine cockatoo, Palawan forest turtle, Calamian deer, Balabac mouse deer and the Palawan pangolin.
“With all the challenges and threats that the Palawan Pangolin is currently facing, it is only fitting that Mazda Philippines sends over its Christmas gift for the pangolins this early so that we can help stop the trafficking and contribute to their protection and preservation,” says Mazda Philippines president and CEO Steven Tan. “We are committed to support Katala Foundation’s activities as it pursues the conservation status of one of the most endangered species in the world. It is our hope that the Katala Foundation’s use of the BT-50 Pangolin Edition will continue to call attention to the plight of this species and help save the country’s endemic wildlife and fragile ecosystem.”
Dr. Sabine Schoppe, director of the Palawan Freshwater Turtle and Palawan Pangolin Conservation Programs of the Katala Foundation Inc., riding the Mazda BT-50 Pangolin Edition Pickup
“This pickup truck also represents the same challenges that the Palawan Pangolin faces today,” shares Indira Lacerna-Widnann, project director of Katala Foundation. “We hope that together with the support of Mazda Philippines, we can finally head for the right direction to achieve the conservation status of this species. We would like to thank Mazda Philippines for this opportunity. It is an honor for us to be its partner in this mission. Our companies share the same passion in our work for this species as well as in the development of this vehicle.”
Customers may avail of Mazda’s special introductory price of P1.4 million of the Mazda BT-50 Pangolin Edition and is currently available at any of the 19 Mazda showrooms nationwide. Just like the pangolins, it’s as tough on the road or even off-road. And just like all other Mazda vehicles, it comes with free Periodic Maintenance service plan for five Years, or up to 100,000 kilometers, whichever comes first. It also carries Mazda’s three-year vehicle warranty.