Conservationists at the organization Save Vietnam’s Wildlife rescue pangolins from the black market. Pangolins arrive to the care center with various injuries, including one whose back leg has been severed.
[Narrator] Save Vietnam's Wildlife is a lifeline for pangolins rescued from the black market.
They've received over 400 this year alone.
And more are arriving all the time.
[Thai Van Nguyen] No sadly, we lose one and that has been by snare trap by the belly and then its open wound.
[Narrator] Fifteen Sunda pangolins were confiscated near the Vietnamese border with China.
The team assesses the surviving animals for any sign of injury.
They've all been vomiting a yellow substance.
[Maria Diekmann] And what is the yellow indicating?
That they were force fed?
[Thai Van Nguyen] Yeah.
That is the tubes where they try to put inside the belly of the pangolin and put through the mouth, so you will see, this here.
[Woman] Put the towel on here.
[Man] Hold the line.
[Man] I'm holding it too argh!
[Narrator] These pangolins were destined for the dinner table and force-fed to increase their weight and price.
[Thai Van Nguyen] Oh look that's in.
[Maria Diekmann] Every single one of these pangolins went through that same thing?
[Thai Van Nguyen] Yeah, they.
[Maria Diekmann] So they were all handled by a bunch of loud noisy people pumping things, rice into their stomach.
[Thai Van Nguyen] Yeah, yeah.
[Narrator] When frightened, a pangolin's first defense is to roll into a protective ball, but this makes it easy prey for poachers.
Most of the animals are mercifully free from injury.
[Maria Diekmann] You hungry maybe?
[Narrator] But one young male is in real trouble.
His back leg has been severed, most likely by a snare.
[Thai Van Nguyen]: Oh my god, oh.
[Maria Diekmann] It should get him a pretty good chance of survival.
[Thai Van Nguyen]: We just do our best we can and yeah so hopefully the vets can, doing some operation tomorrow.