Pangolin Prison 

A pangolin waits for it's freedom, after a wildlife bust, 27th April 2015, Medan, Indonesia. A huge seizure of pangolin was conducted by the Indonesian National Police along side WCS's, Wildlife Crimes Unit. The Haul of the World's Most Hunted Animal is valued at USD 1.4 million. Photo: Paul Hilton of WCS

This article is brought to you by the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Read our other articles on the National Geographic Voices blog featuring the work of our iLCP Fellow Photographers all around the world.

Text and photos by iLCP Fellow Paul Hilton.

A pangolin waits for its freedom, after a wildlife bust, 27th April 2015, Medan, Indonesia. A huge seizure of pangolin was conducted by the Indonesian National Police along side WCS’s, Wildlife Crimes Unit. The haul of the world’s most hunted animal is valued at USD 1.4 million. Photo: Paul Hilton of WCS

I’m back in Sumatra for the second time in a month. My taxi pulls up into an industrial part of town, where we are greeted by the Wildlife Conservation Society‘s, Wildlife Crimes Unit. The smell of seafood lingers in the air as we walk towards a warehouse.

Police in military fatigues stand around outside. As we enter the building I notice a white board on the right. Names of hunters are listed on the left with dates, times and the amounts they dropped off. One hunter going by the name of Joni delivered 10 live pangolins in one day with a total weight of 38.3kg.

We are then escorted past two shipping containers towards the back of the warehouse into a separate room. Sixty multi-coloured poultry crates line the floor, prison cells with stressed, scared and dehydrated pangolins pacing back and forth. Some curled up in fear.

Poultry cages line the floor of the seafood warehouse, full of pangolins. 27th April 2015, Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo: Paul Hilton for WCS
<img src="http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/files/2015/04/MR7A5327-watermarked-1024×691.jpg" alt="A total of 96 live pangolins are kept in poultry cages, 27th April 2015, Medan Indonesia. During a pangolin bust conducted by the Indonesian National Police along side WCS's Wildlife —> Read More

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