Love the Pangolin
5 ans 7
Asia & Africa
Critically Endangered to Vulnerable
This 5-year-old male has seen many of his friends disappear. They have taken by humans, obsessed with the concept that they will become healthy or seem rich if they have a piece of them. He wonders if the people realise they could munch on their own fingernails for the same effect… But the demand doesn’t seem to go away, even when his Asian cousins have almost disappeared. He must try to find his lunch as carefully as he can, hoping they never find him.
This adorable scaly mammal is a strange and wonderful creature, seemingly like an armadillo or anteater, but more closely related to cats and dogs! They are covered with a thick armour of scales (except on their belly) which are very useful for protection. These scales are made up of keratin and continue to grow throughout their life. When they are frightened, they roll themselves up into a tight ball, making it very difficult for their predator to do anything. Their limbs are very small and perfect for digging. They can either walk on all fours or adorably just on their back legs, tucking their front claws in and moving surprisingly fast.
The favourite foods of a pangolin are termites and ants. They have an incredibly long and sticky tongue that can reach out half it’s body size which is perfect for searching down termite mounds and ant hills for the delicious booty. They have an insatiable appetite for insects making them an incredibly important part of their ecosystem, working as pest control. One pangolin can eat 70 million insects in just one year.
Pangolins usually give birth to just one baby at a time. When born, the babies are very light in colour with soft scales which start to harden on the second day. They are cared for by their mother in a protective nesting burrow where she will curl around her baby to sleep or protect it from threats. The babies will nurse for 3-4 months and start tasting delicious ants and termites at one month old. While their mum is out foraging, the baby will hitch a ride on her back.
It's also the world's most trafficked non-human. Pangolins are in high demand in China and Vietnam for traditional medicines made from their scales (which are made up of keratin, just like rhino horns and your fingernails) or to eat as a display of wealth. Just like rhino horn, the medicines have no scientific evidence to prove they do anything at all. But this doesn't stop the demand. With all 4 species of Asian pangolin now critically endangered, the illegal wildlife trade has turned to the African species to fill the demand. In the space of a week in 2019, 2 shipments from Nigeria were seized in Singapore with approximately 72000 pangolins.
HOW TO HELP
Based off real animals that Gillie and Marc met while travelling, the public will be able to meet individual animals.
With public art, more people will come into contact with these sculptures, will stop and consider them, will take a photograph, and will discuss this with their friends and family. Through this increased exposure, the message of love, family, and conservation will be spread much further than any piece of art in a gallery ever could. It will bring people into close contact and will help them to fall in love. With love comes a greater urge to want to create a change and save all endangered animals.
The sculpture will be aligned with the hashtags #LoveTheLast to raise unparalleled awareness about the sculpture’s cause across the globe.
To help protect these animals, please donate to the WWF: https://www.wwf.sg/
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. As one of WWF’s international hubs, WWF-Singapore supports a global network spanning over 100 countries. We work to meet key conservation goals, such as deforestation, haze pollution, food security, sustainable finance, sustainable consumption and illegal wildlife trade.
For more information, visit https://www.wwf.sg