Pangolins are bizarre. They look like fantasy creatures, but they face real-world threats. Hunted almost to extinction, they are desperately in need of protection. Happily for conservationists working to save them, these roly-poly characters have cuteness overload.
Pangolins’ scaley bodies inspire art and craft ideas. A pinecone with a paper-cone head and tail works wonderfully, or try making one from modelling clay or – if you’re lucky enough to have one – with a 3D printer pen!
Author-illustrator Rachel L Shaw‘s website has brilliant downloadable colouring sheets and other activities. Youngsters will particularly love the cute cut-out Peeping Pangolin. Rachel’s pangolin crafts are based on her creation, Pipisin. If you can ship from the Philippines, the book, ‘Pipisin the Pangolin’ (The Bookmark Inc, 2015) is available to order online.
It’s heartening to see pangolin characters popping up in children’s books. Conservation can benefit directly too – 30% of profits from ‘A Pangolin Tale: Adventure of the Armored Anteater’ by Louise Fletcher and Jason Derry (Oakenday Press, 2016) goes towards pangolin conservation. This ecologically sound, day-in-the-life book has jewel-bright illustrations and a double page spread of pangolin facts at the back. I think it will most appeal to children aged 7+
Today is the tenth World Pangolin Day. Check out the site for things we can all do to support pangolins. And for one cheering initiative, watch an ITV interview with a Cambridge University pangolin researcher preparing for an eight-hour run in appropriate fancy dress, hosted by Save Pangolins.