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WENDY PANAINO, WILDLIFE EXPERT: They are so quiet and so shy most of the time. So you could drive past one and not even notice. You could walk past one and not even notice it.

MCKENZIE: A radio tracker gives researcher Wendy Panayno (ph) a fighting chance.

It's moving.

We're listening for the turn of the tracker to go up. It means we're getting closer to an animal.

PANAINO: There he is.

MCKENZIE: She's seen more wild pangolins than perhaps anyone.

PANAINO: Hey, buddy. He's racing right now.

MCKENZIE: Very little is known about these creatures. She knows every sighting is important.

With its tightly interlocking scales acting as armor, the pangolin has no effective predators in the wild, but it's the very same scales that make it the world's most trafficked mammal.

In Asia, pangolins have been decimated by poaching, where the scales are falsely believed to have medicinal benefits.

PANAINO: If we want to save them and do something about their numbers declining, understanding them gives us a chance.

MCKENZIE: So far the remoteness of the Kalahari has kept the population safe, but the trade has arrived in Africa.

RAY JANSEN, WILDLIFE EXPERT: Future for pangolins is looking incredibly bleak. If trafficking carries on the way it is now, they may have 20 to 25 years left to be on Earth.

MCKENZIE: At a bio bank in Pretoria, researchers study confiscated samples from Chinese customs, drilling down into pangolin DNA using forensics to combat trafficking.

Newly announced trade restrictions are meant to protect pangolins.

JANSEN: To put it out on the ground and to stop things like the bush meat market and illegal trade in animals is incredibly difficult to enforce.

MCKENZIE: So, the stock of the seized pangolin scales continues to rise, while sightings in the wild become more special.

PANAINO: It's an absolutely tragic, tragic thing. I mean, they are so rare and so unique, you know, just look at that. Look at that face.

MCKENZIE: The tragedy, knowing an extraordinary animal could easily vanish before it's fully understood.


MCKENZIE: Now, Kristie, at that major conference here in Johannesburg they agreed to ban all trade in pangolin across the globe, but what's really important, as you heard there, is the enforcement of those bans for this to have any kind of effect and save the species -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: That's right. They need to enforce that global ban on trade in pangolin, which was announced at that major conference in Johannesburg. And, David, what about the fate of African elephants and rhinos?

MCKENZIE: We've reported recently that African elephants across the states here in Africahave been decimated by poaching. Some 30,000 elephants, Kristie, killed every year it's estimated by poaching. Now, it's a case again that elephant ivory has continued to be traded illegally, as has rhino horn, particularly coming from the continent here in Africa and spread through the illegal networks into Asia, Vietnam, and China.

Especially, you know, the global illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth billions of dollars, more than $10 billion, in fact. It's very difficult to stamp out these trades and it's like law enforcement for the drug trade or human trafficking. The problem is, is though these treaties are often seen as big pushes towards combating trafficking in these species, the enforcement is still spotty and there are frequent accusations of corruption on the government scale both here in Africa and in Asia -- Kristie.

LU STOUT: That's right, even if there is a ban in place, it's got to be implemented effectively. David McKenzie reporting on this important story for us. Thank you, David, and take care.

Now, you're watching News Stream, we'll be back in just a moment.



ANDREW STEVENS, CNN MONEY: Hong Kong: commerce is the center of the show in this town. But on the street below, an artistic revolution is afoot. At this workshop in Hong Kong's new territories, designer Elaine Yan Ling Ng creates smart textiles and turns them into striking installations.

Her work is often inspired by nature. Take Sunju (ph), a kinetic sculpture modeled after a carnivorous plant.

Ng (ph) founded the company the fabric lab in Beijing, but moved to Hong Kong two years ago.

ELAINE YAN LING NG, DESIGNER: All these really exciting (inaudible) just started in Hong Kong. And I think in five years the Hong Kong art scene will be completely different, because we're not (inaudible) high end art and also there's a lot of grass roots-like art (inaudible) going on.

STEVENS: But finding room to grow can be tough for artists in a crowded city that prizes big business.

Cherry Chan is co-person in charge of The Mills, a project hoping to nurture creativity and inspire a new generation of innovations. It's already recognizes Ng and plans to support other upcoming artists.

: I didn't want start-up space there is there isn't enough of a community. If you look at the big cities for startups like the Silicon Valley or even New York, people know where to go to meet each other, to exchange ideas, to find investors, to find the suppliers.

And I think we're missing that hub.

STEVENS: Work is already underway at this former textile factory. When it's finished in 2018 it will house a startup incubator and art gallery and retail space.

CHERRY CHAN, THE MILLS: It's must faster and more lucrative to just raise this and build another commercial building. But this is really our way of giving back to the city and building a new community and exploring possibilities for the city as well as for the company.

That company, Nan Feng Group (ph) is now a leading property developer. But it has its roots in Toon I (ph) as a cotton spinner.

Back in the 1960s, the area was the heart of Hong Kong's textile industry and the government development as the first satellite town.

But in the 1980s, it grew quieter as much of the city's manufacturing moved to mainland China and Hong Kong turned its economy to the services sector.

NG: It is dangerous if Hong Kong remains as a financial hub, because like anywhere could be a financial hub.

If art is just a commodity to Hong Kong, then Hong Kong has not utilized art in its best way.

STEVENS: From manufacturing hub to financial capital, sweeping change is a part of Hong Kong's past. Now these artists are weaving creativity into the fabric of this vivid city to help shape a new future.


LU STOUT: Now, Google just unveiled a series of new products in San Francisco, including Pixel, its first ever exclusively branded Google smartphone as the company looks to step into more hardware, and something that may please Instagram fans out there, these phones come with free unlimited storage of photos and video.

And for those watching the launch, it might feel as though Google is kind of playing catch up with its products. Among the highlights was Google's smart speaker, Google Home, which is taking on Amazon's Echo after Amazon found unexpected success with the voice-activated home assistant.

Google Home is not open to third party developers yet, though. And while Echo already lets you order Uber or check your bank account.

And then there's Google's Daydream VR headset. We know that Samsung unveiled their consumer style Gear VR headset last year. And while Google is aiming for a cozier aesthetic ehre and a slightly lower pricetag with Daydream, it's only compatible with Google two Pixel phones.

And that is News Stream. I'm Kristie Lu Stout, but don't go anywhere, World Sport with Alex Thomas is next.


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