Sixty intrepid North Coasters braved the sweltering weather on Saturday afternoon by walking, jogging and running 5km for pangolin conservation.
The Pubbing4Pangolins event saw participants start at CJ Cogan Park, before making stops at RE/MAX Dolphin Realtors, Fiamma Grill, Willard Beach, Hops, Concha Café and Mozambik.
There were refreshments – often alcoholic – at each station, ensuring the event lived up to its ‘pub’ moniker and making it all the more impressive the longer everyone covered the distance.
Organized by Ordinarily Active, in partnership with RE/MAX Dolphin Realtors, the event served both as a fundraiser and to raise awareness of the plight of pangolins in South Africa and around the world.
But why pangolins?
“At Ordinarily Active we believe that when you lead an active lifestyle you become more socially conscious. Society needs to protect the vulnerable and in this case it is the very endangered pangolins,” said the Ordinarily Active CEO , Sarah Swainson.
Pangolins are critically endangered animals in Africa and Asia, with four species on each continent.
They have been systematically hunted for their meat and for their scales used in traditional medicine in both Africa and Asia.
In 2016, The New York Times and BBC Earth called pangolins the most trafficked wild animals on Earth.
The ground pangolin, the only species in South Africa, is found in northern KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
“Although large predators, starvation, fire and possibly disease pose a threat to wild pangolins, the greatest threat they face today is humans,” Swainson said.
“They are incredibly interesting animals. They have a tongue as long as their whole body which they use to hunt ants and termites. They are also the only mammals with scales, made of keratin, the same material as your fingernails.
Funds from the event will be donated to Johannesburg Wildlife Vet, which treats native wildlife for free.
They rely on the community for donations and support to stay operational.
Final fundraising figures were not available at the time of printing.
To learn more about pangolins in Africa, visit africanpangolin.org.
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