I don’t do a lot of baking but I do like making biscuits. When I made some spiced biscuits for Christmas, I couldn’t help myself, I had to try making a pangolin. I cut it out freestyle with I knife then used the handle of a teaspoon to make indentations for the scales. It worked but took ages… for one biscuit.
There are descriptions online of how to make your own cookie cutters using aluminium foil. I was considering this when Cathy from Marvellous Creatures posted her pangolin cookies on instagram and passed on a link to a pangolin cookie cutter! Such things do actually exist!
Armed with my new pangolin cookie cutter, I set about making cookies! …I may have got a little carried away with the quantities but I’ve got plenty to share for World Pangolin Day 🙂
I used the gingerbread recipe from the Good Housekeeping website. It’s a great recipe and really easy, there’s even a video showing what to do. I just added more ginger.
What you need:
3 1/2tbsp golden syrup
60g light soft brown sugar
175g plain flour
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2tsp ground ginger
How to make gingerbread biscuits:
Add butter, golden syrup and light brown sugar to a pan. Stir on a low heat until sugar has dissolved.
Add flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger to a mixing bowl then stir together. Make a well in the centre and pour in the sugar and butter mixture.
Stir together to form a dough (it might be easiest to use your hands).
Chill for 30mins to firm up.
Lay the dough between two sheets of baking parchment. Press dough lightly with a rolling pin. Give a quarter turn then repeat.
Give it a final quarter turn, then start to roll backwards and forwards, giving regular quarter turns. Until dough is roughly thickness of a £1 coin.
Using a biscuit cutter cut out the shapes. Bake at 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5 for 10 to 12min, until lightly golden brown.
The biscuits won’t be firm but will harden when left to cool outside the oven.
Pangolins are the world’s only scaly mammals. The word ‘pangolin’ comes from the Malay ‘penngguling’, which means ‘something that rolls up’. When threatened, they roll up into an impenetrable ball.
Despite the fact that there scales are made of keratin, the same as your fingernails and hair, they are killed and their scales removed to be made into medicine. It is estimated that a pangolin is taken from the wild every five minutes. They desperately need your help.
Here’s a few ideas of what you can do.
1. Make a donation
Many of the organisations that work directly with pangolins are small and in need of funds. These are the dedicated people rescue, rehabilitate and re-release pangolins confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade, work to raise awareness in the local communities and help to protect the places where pangolins live.
Why not increase the value of your donation by organising a sponsored event?
2. Adopt a pangolin
Some of the larger international NGOs have pangolin adoption schemes. By adopting a pangolin you are making donation to their pangolin conservation programmes and you get a cute soft toy pangolin in return.
Raise funds for pangolin conservation by baking pangolin-inspired cakes and selling slices to your friends and colleagues.
For inspiration check out this awesomely cool pangolin cake by Davina Behin Jones.
Lots of artists and crafters that choose to feature pangolins in their art also give a proportion of their profits to charity. If you buy from them, you’re helping raise funds and by raising awareness simply by wearing a t-shirt! What you wear can be a conversation starter.
Here are a few of my favourites:
Get your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews excited about pangolins. Share pangolin facts, colour pangolins or try your hand at some pangolin crafts. Create your own pangolin art or design a poster about pangolins – featuring crazy facts or the issues surrounding the illegal wildlife trade.
Here are my pangolin colouring and craft pages.
7. Follow Pipisin Pangolin on Instagram
Self-promotion but Pipisin is trying his best to raise awareness of pangolins. He is currently a mascot for WWF and TRAFFIC in China and would love to be friends with you too. Pipisin Pangolin’s instagram
8. Join a World Pangolin Day event
The ninth World Pangolin Day is on Saturday 15 February.
There may be events here you but if there isn’t, why not hold your own pangolin party.
9. Write to your political representative
Tell them about pangolins and ask them what your government is doing to tackle the illegal wildlife trade. Politicians represent us, the people, but it they don’t know what we care about then they might not take action.
If you see pangolins for sale in markets, restaurants or online, report it to the authorities.
Share your love and concern for pangolins on social media. Post pictures of your World Pangolin Day celebrations; your artwork or cakes, or a selfie wearing pangolin t-shirt.
Share with your favourite celebrity or influencer, tell them about pangolins and perhaps they’ll support the conservation of these special animals too.
Use #WorldPangolinDay #Pangolin #ScalingUpPangolinConservation
Make and send a pop-up pangolin card. The cute pangolin mom playing with her pangopup appears when you open the card.
For a pdf template and instructions, click on this image:
Use your card to help raise awareness of pangolins! Send it to a friend who might not know that pangolins even exist. Add some pangolin facts to the front and back of the card.
Pangolins are mammals with large overlapping scales covering their bodies.
The scales are made of keratin, just like our fingernails.
20% of a pangolin’s weight is comprised of scales.
As a defense against predators, they roll up into a ball. Even lions and tigers can’t prise them open.
A pangolin’s tongue is longer than it’s body. The tongue is sticky and they use them to catch ants and termites.
A pangolin can eat 70 million ants per year.
There are eight species of pangolin: four in Asia and four in Africa.
Sadly, a pangolin is snatched from the wild every five minutes! They are the most most illegally traded wild mammals on the planet. They are poached for their meat, which is eaten as a luxury dish in parts of their range, and their scales which are used in Traditional Asian Medicine.