Zimbabwe is where it all began. In 1994, Lisa Hywood set up the Tikki Hywood Foundation in memory of her late father, Tikki, himself an avid wildlife enthusiast. The Foundation began as a wildlife Trust that took in all manner of lost, abandoned or injured creatures. In October 1994, the Authorities called Lisa and said that they have a pangolin who was recovered from the trade, and it needed rehabilitation, would she go and collect it? This pangolin recovery was to be the beginning of a lifetime journey where the Foundation would soon be leading the way in pangolin rescue and rehabilitation throughout Africa.  From this point onwards pangolin became the Foundation’s focal species, but the Foundation continued to rescue and rehabilitate smaller, lesser-known species as well.

Since then, the Foundation has expanded in Zimbabwe to include four rehabilitation sites, a pangolin release and monitoring project and a legal advisory department which serves lawmakers and public prosecutors in upholding and updating the wildlife laws of Zimbabwe.


As a group of highly specialised mammals - Pangolins have been around in their current form for close to 56 million years, at least twice as long as a better known fellow mammal - the cat. Having no teeth, the longest tongue of all mammals in relation to body size, the Pangolin has become a highly specialised feeder, eating only ants and termites. There are only eight species of Pangolins found worldwide, four in Asia and four in Africa and all eight are under extreme threat.

It has been documented in depth that the Asian cultures rely on, and still practice traditional medicine techniques, with Pangolins and their body parts being high on the agenda. Pangolin Scales are made of the same substance as Rhino Horn, that is keratin, which has no proven medicinal properties, but are still highly prized.

The result is that African wildlife has become a new untapped resource and African Pangolins are now sought after. This species is now at a critically low level and faces, like the Rhino, extinction in all of its range states including Zimbabwe.  We are considered the African experts on Pangolin and consult in matters relating to rescue, captive care, orphan rearing, rehabilitation and release.  We are actively involved with changing legislation, anti-poaching efforts, following up on prosecution and the implementation of wildlife law.

To our sponsors, this journey would not have been possible without you; our sincere gratitude.

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