Over four Saturdays (10th August- 31st August 2019) the Troubadour Trust very generously offered to support and host David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation in the foyer of the Troubadour Theatre in Wembley at the Dinosaur World Live performances. The aim was to raise awareness of the pangolin, the most illegally trafficked mammal in the world, with one being removed from the wild on average every 5 minutes.
On each of these Saturdays David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation staff and volunteers were present at two tables in the foyer along with banners advertising the event and a film on screen about pangolins which was played on a continuous loop. The Pangolin Art Challenge asked children to draw a picture of their favourite dinosaur meeting a pre-drawn pangolin pal to enter a competition in which they could win pangolin adoption packs.
Before each child began drawing we asked them if they had ever heard of a pangolin before, over the 4 Saturdays, 176 children were asked this question, of these 90% had not heard of the pangolin before (and anecdotally most of their parents hadn’t prior to the event either). During the activity we were able to talk to the children (and often their parents too) about the pangolin, we explained what unique animals they are and why they needed our help. The children were also able to watch the film to find out more of information about them.
Each week the cast of the theatre show chose three winners to receive a pangolin adoption prize; these were then sent in the post. At the end of the Challenge, one overall winner was selected by the cast and David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation team. The winner and guests attended a prize giving ceremony at the Natural History Museum in London as a part of the Global Canvas children’s art competition also run by the Foundation. The winner, Amber, was presented with a trophy celebrating their achievement at the event.
159 children who were not previously aware of the existence of the pangolin now know about them and the threats to their survival. Raising awareness is so important in helping these incredible creatures to avoid the extinction crisis that they are facing.” – Jo Elphick, Education Manager at DSWF