What's A Pangolin? Just An Adorable Creature Google Is Trying To Save

Photo: Courtesy of Google.
Last year, Google shared the Valentine's Day love with a series of doodles celebrating "unlikely couples." Among them: A coffee pot and cup of tea, a tooth and soda bottle, and a rain cloud with the sun. This year's V-Day doodle is similarly adorable, but, more importantly, calls awareness to a major concern within the animal kingdom.

World, meet the pangolin. The scaly creature, currently featured in an animated doodle game, is the most poached and trafficked mammal in the world. According to the World Wildlife Fund, the remaining eight species of pangolin, found in Africa and Asia, are illegally trafficked for their scales and meat. Despite a 2016 treaty seeking to end poaching, the practice still continues.

"We hope that by playing this game, people learn a bit more about these wonderful creatures and join efforts to save them and other endangered species," Helene Leroux, a Google Doodler and the lead artist for the Valentine's Day doodle game, told Refinery29 in an email.
Photo: Mint Images - Frans Lanting/Getty Images.
Leroux and her fellow doodlers came up with "the concept of a pangolin traveling the world to meet on its first romantic date with its pango-lover." Keep playing, and you'll progress through various levels, each of which is set in a pangolin's native country.

It's all fun and games, but if you do want to help save the critically endangered pangolin, go online to the World Wildlife Fund. There, you can symbolically adopt a pangolin and aid conservation efforts for $55. Note to last-minute Valentine's Day shoppers: This makes a very thoughtful gift for an animal lover.
Advertisement