Every year I do a large drawing for Earth Day. This year I chose the pangolin to be my muse.
Pangolins are native to both Africa and Asia. Their diet is mostly insects and they are covered head to toe in keratin scales. When threatened, the pangolin will roll up into a ball using its scales as an impenetrable shield. They also release a noxious smelling acid much like a skunk would do.
Unfortunately, the pangolin is also the most heavily trafficked mammal in the world, with a few of its subspecies considered to be critically endangered. The very scales that are meant to keep them safe are considered in some cultures to be medicinal, but really only add a placebo effect. With the advances in modern medicine, there is no need to wipe this animal from the earth just to use its scales.
Like with all my animal portraits, I will donate $5 from the sale of the prints for this drawing to the World Wildlife Fund. The WWF works to protect animal species and their habitats from the effects of climate change. If you would like to more about the WWF, visit their website.
Prints of this drawing are available on my Etsy page.