Check out this friendly little Sunda pangolin! Hope it brightens your Wednesday!
The next two photos are something that concerns me. For a long time if you searched #pangolin
on Instagram you would get the message in image two. That was fine by me. It gives everyone a little heads up that this is a sensitive topic and that you should keep an eye out for crooks. Great. I am on board.
But then the third image happened a few days ago. Now, you can no longer see recent photos or stories of #pangolin
I think their motive is good. The rational is that Instagram is worried illegal pangolin sales are being conducted through their platform and therefore they wish to prevent such transactions.
But is that what is really happening here? I don’t think so.
I have followed #pangolin
almost daily for about a year now and you know what I have seen? I have seen fantastic wildlife photos, heroes saving a species, beautiful illustrations of an illusive creature, intriguing trivia, donation campaigns for this important cause, groovy tattoos, ground breaking news, rescue stories, and a whole lot of my favorite animal. You know what I have never seen? Pangolin scales for sale.
But even if someone actually did try to sell scales on Instagram, call me crazy, but wouldn’t that be better than them using a shady dark web site that no one can find? Wouldn’t it make law enforcements’ job that much easier?
Bottom line: You can’t treat #pangolin
like # drugs or # porn. It is not something we want to shelter our children from. We need to make pangolins cute, and cool, and trendy, and known, not the other way round. Cultural awareness and education is key to saving these species and allowing people easy access to these images is a big part of that. We need to promote images of pangolins, not suppress them.
In the meantime we will be using #pangolins
Consider sharing if you agree with me.
And hey, if you’d like to see more images of these beautiful creatures, and maybe learn a thing or two about them follow @pangolinandco.
Also feel free to tag us in any and all pangolin pics!
#instagram #endangered #animallove #conservation