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Pangolins: The Movie

Happy World Pangolin Day!

And what, you may ask, is a pangolin?

Also known as “scaly anteaters,” pangolins are small mammals primarily distinguished by hard, overlapping scales made of keratin, the same protein that constitutes human hair and fingernails. Found in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, pangolins are solitary animals that use their extraordinarily long tongues to probe for ants and termites in mounds and decaying logs. 

All eight species of pangolins are at risk of extinction, with two species, the Sunda/Malayan pangolin and the Chinese pangolin, listed as critically endangered.

To raise awareness about the plight of this shy, reclusive animal on World Pangolin Day, we’ve put together this video infographic below. We've also produced versions of this video in Chinese and Vietnamese for distribution in Asia.


The pangolin’s scales, skin and meat are all highly valued, making it the most illegally traded mammal in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Demand for pangolin meat as a delicacy is high among the newly affluent in parts of China and in Vietnam.

WildAid is working with our regional partners and celebrity ambassadors on an upcoming media campaign to urge consumers never to buy pangolin products. We also are part of an international coalition urging the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species, or CITES, to strengthen protections for pangolins.

As with other illegal wildlife products, educating consumers is crucial to reducing the demand and stopping the illegal trade of these vulnerable species.