Monday's Google Doodle is an effort to educate people about pangolins and how they range from vulnerable to critically endangered.
Ahead of Valentine’s Day, Google has an adorable Doodle game that also doubles as an awareness campaign to save the vulnerable and sometimes critically endangered pangolin.
Pangolins, according to the World Wildlife Fund, are the “most trafficked mammals in the world” due to high demand of their meat and unique scales. Monday’s Google Doodle is a game that focuses on a pangolin’s efforts to meet its long-distance soulmate for Valentine’s Day — but throughout the four chapters you learn “a thing or two” about the scaly mammals.
The side-scrolling game has you collecting food to make a cake in Ghana. Once complete, the pangolin finds itself in India to “construct a lovely melody” for its soulmate; and then in China, the pangolin collects colorful fans to learn to dance; and finally in the Philippines, it collects flowers to build a bouquet.
“Once our pangolin heroes have found their hearts’ desire, show your own Valentine they’re the king or queen of hearts by sharing your score when the game is complete,” writes Jordan Thompson, software engineer for the Doodle team. “After all, Valentine’s festivities are always sweeter when they’re shared.”
The game’s home screen offers a search button that asks Google “what is a pangolin,” and Google’s blog post links to the World Wildlife Fund to help you learn more about the animal. The WWF says there are eight species of pangolin and all are under threat — two species are listed as critically endangered. A 2016 treaty signed by more than 180 governments announced an end to all legal trade of the mammals, but illegal trade continues.
You can play the game by visiting Google’s home page on a desktop, or mobile via the Google app or a mobile browser.