The Tikki Hywood Foundation Cameroon is the first facility of its kind in West Africa.
The Foundation is developing and building the very first rescue, rehabilitation and release centre in Cameroon. This facility will be based on the successful model the foundation has built, with over 25 years of experience operating in Zimbabwe.
Tikki Hywood Foundation is working to tackle the root of the poaching problem through creating national and international awareness and is working to address pangolin trafficking through national and international awareness campaigns in collaboration with the Office of the President, together with the Cameroon and Ministry of Wildlife and Environment to increase protection for the worlds most trafficked mammal.
The Centre is located in Mefou National Park which is situated about 50km from Yaounde. Mefou National Park is a sanctuary and remains devoted to the conservation of native wildlife and the protection of their natural habitats.
Construction of the first ever rehabilitation facility has been funded by Eran Moas and will be completed by August 2019. The rehabilitation centre will consist of a dormitory for the pangolin walkers. A dormitory for the pangolins. A health check and medical station for pangolins. A kitchen and dining area for the pangolin walkers as well as ablution facilities. There will also be a private bedroom room for the onsite manager.
Three of the four African pangolin species occur naturally in Cameroon. The giant ground pangolin (Smutsia gigantea). These are the largest of all eight species and have been recorded to weigh up to 33kgs. The white-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis), also known as the Three-cusped pangolin or Tree pangolin. And the black-bellied pangolin (Uromanis tetradactyla), also known as the long-tailed pangolin. The black-bellied pangolin are the smallest of all the species, weighing around 2-3kgs.
Locally, these three species are threatened by the bushmeat trade predominantly in West and Central Africa and their scales are used for cultural and ethno-medicinal purposes, including traditional African medicine. Internationally Pangolin meat is seen as a delicacy in China and Vietnam, with the pangolin scales ground down to a powder form and used in traditional Chinese Medicine.
Over and above rescuing and rehabilitation, the facility will also house an Education Centre for programs that highlight the plight of the pangolin.
Ultimately, the centre will be a safe space for pangolins rescued from trade where they can be cared for until they are healthy and can be released back into the wild where they belong.