Charles’ run on World Pangolin Day will help protect endangered mammal
On Saturday, World Pangolin Day, pangolin fan Charles Emogor will be running for eight hours across Cambridge to help a charity dedicated to the conservation and awareness of the protected mammal – and he’s delighted with his pangolin suit which has just arrived from Latvia.
The charity, Save Pangolins, sponsored the pangolin suit which Charles will wear for the run on February 20, which involves one hour for each of the eight pangolin species still on Earth and criss-crosses the city and nearby villages to make the shape of the animal.
“It was made in Latvia and is very comfortable,” says Charles. “It’s a fleece. Actually the weather on Saturday is supposed to be pretty good so I might get too hot!”
Charles is a big fan of pangolins, which is now “the most trafficked mammal in the world”, according to Cambridge-based conservation charity Fauna & Flora. All eight pangolin species are protected under national and international laws, and two are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
“I am a PhD student studying the white-bellied pangolin with Professor Andrew Balmford who you were in touch with when you covered the Tony Whitten Award in 2019,” he explains, adding that his PhD is titled ‘The Conservation and Ecology of the White Bellied Pangolin in Nigeria’.
“I have been passionate about pangolins from the age of eight and consider myself incredibly lucky to be studying them, especially now that the are in dire need of attention. The pangolin is the poster child of the illegal wildlife trade, which is drastically reducing their populations. They were also in the news recently because of their links with the pandemic. Given, unfortunately, we are still in the pandemic, I have partnered with Save Pangolins to hold this run in Cambridge to raise funds and awareness of pangolins. All funds gathered through the fundraiser will go to Save Pangolins that sponsors pangolin conservation projects in Africa and Asia.”
Charles will be running from 8am to 4pm as he encourages people to donate and consider the fate of the pangolin, which is native to Africa and Asia. The creature is under threat both as food and as a so-called ‘medicine’ – which it isn’t, but the claims mean it fetches high values in Asian nations as a status symbol, especially for the scales.
“170kg of pangolin scales have been trafficked from Nigeria to Asia alone in the last 10 years,” notes Charles sorrowfully. “There is no scientific evidence for the claims made for it.”
Charles will run from Grantchester to the city centre and along Mill Road for the fundraiser. Donate here.