10/04/2010 08:55 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

'Scaly Anteater,' Pangolin, Being Hunted To Extinction In Asia (VIDEO)

Pangolins, also known as 'scaly anteaters,' are a creature few have even heard of, and now that they are being hunted toward extinction, the fascinating creatures face being forgotten forever.

In this video, Leanne Clark of the Wildlife Conservation Society tells CNN that two particular species -- the Chinese Pangolin and the Sunda Pangolin -- could disappear within 5 to 10 years if no action is taken toward their conservation.

Pangolins are hunted for their meat, considered a delicacy in parts of Asia, and for their scales, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine. 47.5 tons of pangolin were seized over a four-year period in Vietnam alone.

In the past, villagers in Vietnam would kill a pangolin as a sign of bad luck. These days, they consider the animal a fortuitous gift, as a single pangolin is worth what a Vietnamese farmer would make in six months, according to CNN.

Clark emphasizes that the creatures have a difficult time rebounding from such heavy losses to their population, as they are slow to breed, and generally only have a single baby when they do.