Introducing your new favourite animal
Is it a dinosaur? A Pokémon? A pinecone? Nope, it’s the weird and rather wonderful pangolin!
Want to know more about this scaly beast? Read on for 5 of our favourite facts about this cool creature.
- The pangolin is the world’s only scaly mammal and those scales are made of keratin – the same material that is found in your fingernails and hair
- Their tongues are longer than their bodies!
- Say awwww… Baby pangolins hitch a lift on their mother’s tails.
- Teeth? Not for the pangolin! They swallow pebbles to grind their food in their stomachs.
To defend themselves, they roll up into a tight ball – scales out – and are pretty much impenetrable to a hungry leopard or lion. When their potential dinner companion eventually tires and leaves, they uncurl and stroll away! Perfectly protected from sharp–toothed predators, but sadly these defences don’t work against us. Poachers simply pick them up 😭
Terrible, but true…
This awesome animal is being eaten to extinction before most people even know they exist.
- In the past decade, more than 1 million pangolins have been victims of the illegal wildlife trade.
- A pangolin is snatched from the wild every 5 minutes.
- Unlike lots of other animals that are poached, they are a sad (and thankfully rare) case where every part of the animal is in demand. Their scales are used in traditional medicine, while their meat is considered a delicacy to eat.
- Poachers are absolutely obliterating the pangolin and they simply can’t survive this onslaught for long.
Want to help save pangolins?
Help the world discover the pangolin before it’s too late! Share your newfound knowledge about these amazing animals and make sure your friends and family know all about them. And of course, never, ever buy pangolin meat or products.
WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE THEY?
Four species of pangolin are found in Asia and four in Africa.
WHERE DO THEY LIVE?
Forest and grasslands.
WHAT’S THEIR STATUS?
Four of the eight species are endangered or critically endangered according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The other four are considered ‘vulnerable’.
ARE THEY PROTECTED?
Yes, all eight pangolin species are protected under national and international laws and our partners are working hard to increase this protection.