Humans May Have Contracted Coronavirus From Pangolins Health officials believe the China-borne virus originated in bats. But humans are thought to have contracted coronavirus from another animal. According to South China Agricultural University, that certain animal could be a pangolin. A team came to this conclusion through a series of virus genome sequence tests with different animals. They found that pangolins and human patients had a 99 percent match. South China Agricultural University, via statement The heavily-trafficked pangolin is known to be a delicacy in some Asian countries. Traditional medicine is also made from their unique scales. Nonprofit WildAid says over 100,000 of them are poached annually.