Home News Pangolins The World Needs A Pangolin Emoji

The World Needs A Pangolin Emoji

The pangolin is the most trafficked wild mammal on earth. Please sign our pangolin emoji petition to help raise awareness of the plight of the pangolin

pangolin photo by Andrew White

With its protective scales and unusual stance, the prehistoric looking pangolin may appear to be ready for battle, yet it is the most trafficked wild mammal on earth. Over one million pangolins are estimated to have been traded illegally in the last decade. We hope that the introduction of a pangolin emoji will help to raise awareness of the plight of the pangolin and help people to realise that it is not just an ‘armadillo like animal’ or ‘scaly anteater’.

Why the world needs a pangolin emoji

Pangolin Emoji, Line Icon

  1. Pangolins are the only mammals in the world covered in scales.

Their scales are made of keratin, the same protein that makes up our own hair and nails. These scales cover their entire body from their head to their tip of their tail. There is a huge demand for pangolin scales for use as medicinal purposes, yet they have no medicinal value. Instead of demanding scales for medicine, we are demanding scales for emoticons 

  1. A pangolin’s tongue can be longer than its body.

When the pangolin’s tongue is fully extended, it can be up to 40 cm – longer than its entire body length! We already have the face with tongue out emoji  but just imagine being able to use a pangolin emoji with their 40 cm tongue rolled out for extra cheekiness

  1. Pangolin comes from ‘penggulung,’ the Malay word for roller.

Pangolins roll up into a ball when they feel threatened. Unfortunately, this practice makes it very easy for humans to capture and smuggle them, as poachers can simply pick them up. We need your help to get the pangolin ball emoji rolling ⚽

On June 20 2017, Unicode Consortium, a non-profit that regulates the coding standards for written computer text, released Unicode 10.0 a coding update that included 8,518 new characters. 56 of the 8,518 characters were emojis. Included in the emoji update was a curling stone, take out box, broccoli and a canned food emoji, yet no pangolin emoji! This petition will help highlight the demand for a pangolin emoji to be considered in the next coding update.

The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation is pioneering new projects in Zambia and Uganda to help better understand pangolin populations and how best to protect them.


Please sign our emoji petition to help raise awareness of the plight of the pangolin by clicking here

Help us protect pangolins by supporting our #PoundsForPangolins campaign

Find out more about our pangolin work in Zambia and Uganda

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