Friday, 17 February 2017

Spiky, Shape-changing Pinecones of Death

Tomorrow, Saturday the 18th of February, is the third Saturday in February - and we all know what that means.

It means that it’s Enzo Ferrari’s birthday… And Yoko Ono’s… And John Travolta’s…  It’s also the feast-day of St. Colmán of Lindisfarne who probably invented mustard or something (I didn’t really look into it that closely if I’m being completely honest – I’m trying to do like 300 things at once today) amongst other things.

But the real reason that we’re interested here at The Chimping Dandy – and therefore, the reason that you’re interested is that it’s World Pangolin Day. Pangolins – They’re literally the greatest thing ever. They have all the intrinsic parts required to be the best, cutest, most heart-warmingly twee bundles of keratin scaled, acid-pooping ant-eating machinery that has ever walked this, or any other, Earth.

But, you don’t need me to tell you that, right? We’ve covered pangolins in the past to the point where they’re not a complete mystery… We have, we did that here… Didn’t we? I thought we had. Remember, I told you that Neil-Patrick Harris had read the blog? Look, just read that post – You’ll be glad you did. I’ll wait here.

OK? Are we all up to speed now? Scaled anteaters, of the order Pholidota, no teeth, long tongue, and four legged but walks on two… Generally considered to be one of the most internationally trafficked animals that currently still exists (but only just) because, you know, They’re pretty tasty and some people, in some parts of the world think tearing them to pieces, grinding up their scales and swallowing them will sure cancer, or magically make your milk ‘come in’ if you’ve just had a baby.

(For the record, it won’t. And you’re a backwards imbecile if you think it will. In fact, just go the whole hog and shoot yourself repeatedly in the face if you believe that it will – All you’re doing is making this amazing animal even more endangered)

As of today, six of the eight species of Pangolin are classed as ‘Threatened to extinction’ whilst the other two are ‘Critically endangered’

So, what should you do on World Pangolin day? How should you celebrate it? Well, a good start would be not eating a pangolin – But I’m guessing that’s going to be pretty easy for most of us (And yes, I understand that they’re a valid staple of people who share a biome with them – But I’m not sure that those people read the blog as such) Then you could ‘Like’ the World Pangolin Day page on Facebook. Maybe draw some pictures of Pangolins? Bake biscuits and/or cookies? (In the shape of Pangolins, but not using pangolin as an active ingredient) Write a poem? Express the very idea of pangolinicity though the medium of interpretive dance? You could look at videos of them doing cute stuff of YouTube (other video sharing sites are probably available) and try not to 'Squeeee' too much.

You could go to your local museum if they have a pangolin on display and have an impromptu party, or you could take an outline of a pangolin with you and have a tasteful and well behaved vigil around it if they don’t have one of their own. Remember – Be courteous to your local museum, they’re generally great people – I know the people who work in the Nature Gallery in my local Museum (In Derby, in the UK) certainly are. Maybe your local Zoo has an animal adoption scheme and you could put some money towards a pangolin’s upkeep? Although, now that I come to think about it – They don’t do very well in captivity – Maybe you could adopt an Aardvark or something and just tell people it’s a pangolin – I don’t know, I’m not an expert. Just an excitable amateur.

But the main thing, the best thing you can do is think. Realise that there’s yet another animal out there that’s losing its grip on life because of our stupidity. And it’s a cute animal, so you’ve got no excuse not to help it – I could understand if it was some flesh eating worm or something, who gives a crap about them, right?

But it’s not… look…

Bloody brilliant aren't they?

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