Eye of the Pangolin, a ground-breaking new documentary that premiered last Friday on Endangered Species Day, is now available for streaming, for free, via the Pangolin.Africa website and YouTube channel.
Those behind the project want it to become the most watched wildlife documentary ever believing that awareness is the only way to save the pangolin from annihilation.
The 45-minute film tells the story two South African filmmakers, Bruce Young and Johan Vermeulen, who travel the continent to find the four different species of the elusive African pangolin, the most trafficked mammal on earth.
Along the way, they also meet the people who are trying to save the creatures which are now on the edge of extinction.
Due to an increasingly insatiable market in Asia, the pangolins in that region have almost entirely disappeared, as they continue to be poached and become part of the illegal wildlife trade.
Traditional Chinese medicine places great value on the supposed healing powers of pangolin scales and their meat is considered a dining delicacy.
Eye of the Pangolin notes it takes 1, 900 pangolins to make one ton of scales and so far this year alone, 23 tons have been intercepted leaving South Africa!
Young said, “Our goal is to make Eye of the Pangolin one of the most watched wildlife documentaries ever so we have made it freely available to screen to anyone in the world. So many people don’t even know what a pangolin is. If people take a look at the wild world around them and reassess their relationship with it and its wildlife, then there’s a chance we’ll save these mystical creatures. We are asking people to share the link with everyone they know so that we can hopefully reach a global audience of millions.”
His views are echoed by Vermuelen who said there are still many people that haven’t even heard of a pangolin before.
“If we can change that, if we can educate them and inform them about the threats it is facing, then we have achieved what we have set out to. The most important thing is to make the users of pangolin scales realise that a pangolin scale, just like rhino horn, is nothing more than keratin,” he said.
The filmmakers also intend to take the documentary to wildlife and conservation film festivals as well as embark on an intensive screening campaign at educational establishments across Africa and worldwide.
Be sure to visit www.pangolin.africa/the-film