Pangolin (scaly anteater) carcass at Sixth Avenue today

A call interrupted me during the coastal cleanup post-recce debrief this afternoon with the NUS Environmental Engineering students at Holland Village The phone call was from my just-graduated honours student Fung Tze Kwan, and I suspected an emergency of some sort.

True enough, a scaly anteater or pangolin (Manis javanica) carcass had been spotted by her classmate, Genevive Sew. Unable to contact me, Genevieve had informed NEA. When Tze Kwan got to me, I sent word to guard the carcass until I turned up and to prevent NEA cleaners from collecting the carcass as they’d turn it into ashes.


Pangolin at the bus-stop along Sixth Avenue, 16 Jul 2011.
Note the extended tongue.

I grabbed trash bags from 7-11 nearby and hopped into a cab to scour Sixth Avenue for Genevive. We missed her, turned around and then I dashed across the road while she explained to the workers that we could clear the carcass. Traffic was speeding through Sixth Avenue so it was dicey work dodging traffic to grab that photo above.

The poor animal’s tongue was extended, it looked quite fresh and there was no smell. I learnt the Raffles Museum freezer was full so I headed to Life Sciences Lab 7 after dropping Genevive off at her dance ensemble practise at the University Cultural Centre. She had guarding the specimen for 45 mins – attagirl!

Pangolin roadkill, Sixth Avenue 16 Jul 2011
Location of carcass

Pangolin roadkill, 16 Jul 2011
Had the pangolin strayed from Holland Woods?

Genevieve Sew

I popped the unfortunate pangolin into the Lab 7 freezer and turned down the temperature to freeze the carcass. I’ll dissect and preserve it next week.

This is the second specimen secured since semester ended, the previous one being the smooth-coated otter from West Coast Park in May this year. This one thanks to Genevive Sew!

We’d really all rather see these animals alive rather than dead but a carcass can contribute to research, education and ultimately the protection of others of its kind in our forests and shores.

11 thoughts on “Pangolin (scaly anteater) carcass at Sixth Avenue today

  1. With the protection of the KTM railway removed they are clearing the forest from old Holland Road to Bt Timah station, the pangolin was probably fleeing this habitat destruction when it met it’s end.

  2. there is a new gravel road that starts near where Holland Rd turns NE to join Old Holland Rd, & runs along the western edge of the cleared area (in your 4th image) towards the old house above the KTM tracks near MGS. this new road can be seen from the KTM tracks where it crosses the stream linking to Ngee Ann Poly. more opportunity for roadkill 😐

  3. Hi Siva,
    it’s a bit late but an interesting account by my sister who regularly feed stray cats late into the nights. She once witness a few youngsters ‘chasing after’ an ‘anteater’ early morning. It subsequently climbed a fence into Sembawang Secondary School about late last year and disappeared from view. If what she saw was a pangolin, then the probable habitat could either be along Jalan Gambas. FYI. Nothing of solid evidence here. But anteater image is a strong one for anyone to describe. What else could it be but pangolin.

  4. I stay around the area. Have not seem anything ad normal for the past 10 years. The nearest forest is before Laurel woods. A lot of construction going there i.e. a new condo coming up nearby and a recently completed drain along Haji Alias. A lot of foreign workers, sorry I am not saying they caught and killed it. But I do see a lot of dogs running freely at the greens just before Laurel woods.

  5. Any plans to capture them from the woods and relocate into the nature reserves? Would it be feasible? Since the disappearance of the woods is inevitable.

  6. I think it’s probably from the woods betw Laurel Woods and Ming Teck Park. There used to be a road called Lor Panchor. My neighbour and I bashed throu it recently to explore for old graves and durian trees. Found none but saw big shed snake skin.

  7. I saw it too,it’s much more larger than than th picture shows, I saw th one that is all black and a stripe at th top body I was heading back frm maplewoods at around 4Am I saw this huge ass creature crossing th street.i was shocked I didn’t knw what it was at first.i bet there’s a lot more hiding in th woods.these area is creepy and I like it.

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