What’s a Pangolin?
Not really known in the west, pangolins are ant eating mammals covered in scales much like armadillos. They've been around for about 80 million years. They are shy, mostly nocturnal, like to climb trees and reproduce about once a year.
They are also the most illegally trafficked animal in the world and will go extinct soon if we don't help them. In the past 10 years, hundreds of thousands have been illegally hunted in Asia and Africa. Mostly to be eaten as a delicacy at restaurants or to have their scales ground up and used in potions for anti-aging, aphrodisiacs and other cure-all remedies.
We were tasked to create an informative, provocative campaign around pangolins and the issues that concern them. Another key ingredient was to keep the campaign fact based so the initiative could be used as an educational tool.
After we created the assets, WildAid called upon it's celebrity network and the support of other global organizations to effectively highlight the issues over a 45 day period. The reach is estimated to be in excess of 40 million individuals.
Many social platforms exploded with chatter. This, in turn, translated into several major news channels posting articles and videos about: What pangolins are, the problems surrounding them and what you can do to help. Almost immediately, wildlife protection organizations started to receive lots of public support to meet with government officials and change policies surrounding the trafficking of pangolins.
The Vote that Mattered
By the time CITES had reconvened in South Africa to vote on the pangolins condition, the public wave of support was immense. CITES had almost no choice but to re-evaluate and change their policy on pangolins to be 100% illegal for trade and heavily protected under international law.
To The Real Heros
This is a huge win and rare piece of good news for the world's most trafficked animal. Giving pangolins full protection under CITES will draw major support from all countries to combat illegal trade. And as proud as we are to be a part of it, It goes without saying that we were just one part of a much larger effort led by people who care deeply about our planet and have the determination to work tirelessly to preserve it.