(20 January 2019)
You know what Marie Curie said about poaching?
No, I don’t know either, but I bet you she had a strong opinion.
The AntiPants event is a motorcycle run to raise funds and awareness on endangered animals. This year we focused our efforts on the Pangolin. We rode around town without pants – what better way to make people take notice???
*We were anxiously waiting to see what colour undies he was wearing*
The ride is open to anybody on two wheels. And to ride without a broek is completely voluntary, but this year the attendance blew my pants off! We expected about 20 riders, and when we woke up that morning to a cloudy sky, we decided we would be happy if 10 people pitched up.
At the Union Buildings (the start venue), the bikers just kept rolling in and zipping down!!! There were more than 40 bikes and round about 60 people - and every single rider was showing bare knees. There were boxers, briefs, bikinis, boy-shorts, panties, bloomers, skipants, shorts and p-t’s!
So why did we choose to support the pangolin this year?
Did you know… that an adult pangolin has no natural predators? When it rolls into a tight ball protected by its scaly armour – there is nothing it needs to fear…
*You know that nightmare you have when you realize you forgot something…?*
*I hope the pangolins appreciate it as much as I did*
*A 1950’s African curio – almost as precious as a real one*
Around 300 pangolins are poached EVERY DAY, making these unusual animals the most illegally trafficked mammals in the world. Even if you combined ALL the other illegally trafficked animal products like rhino horns, elephant tusks, etc. it does not come close to that of the pangolin.
*They did NOT arrest us. I bet you they wear boardshorts*
*Support from the other two-wheelers*
It is a new trade that started only about 2 years ago. In Africa the pangolin has been hunted for years and its meat has been eaten and sold, but this left a scaly useless by-product that needed to be disposed of.
Queue the Asian market!
*If you get lost, pretend your pants are on fire!*
In Asia, eating the meat is considered a status symbol and the scales are eaten as a treatment for lactation issues, blood circulation problems and cancer. And carrying a pangolin tongue in your pocket is supposedly considered good luck?!?
*I couldn’t get myself to do it…*
Rolling up in a constricted ball protecting its unguarded stomach, paws and snout might be enough to deter a few big cats, but the artichoke-like animals are far from aggressive. They're also mostly blind and unfortunately, a careful human can scoop a balled-up pangolin into a sack with ease - so their main defense mechanism actually makes them even more vulnerable to poaching.
*Not sure whose safety he was concerned with?*
*Mamma said, ‘What has been seen cannot be unseen’*
I recently had an interesting conversation with my dad, more so about evolution. He pointed out something that I had never thought about. The dinosaurs roamed earth for 170 million years! During these millions of years, they evolved to adapt to their environment, becoming taller, or stronger, or growing wings, etc. All of these being physical traits.
*The tourists were captivated! *
Humans however have only been around for 200 000 odd years and even though we have also physically evolved – our intellectual evolution has been outstanding. AND EXPONENTIAL!
Why did other creatures on earth not evolve mentally? Why only humans? And why so quick? And how is it that we could evolve to the point of being able to build a little ship, land it on Mars and gooi a donut on its surface, but yet we still think the scales of a little ant-eating critter will cure our limp members?
We cannot curb the human population – it is too late for that. What is left is to change the way we interact with nature (or what is left of it). To educate. To edify. To enlighten.
*What is it with men and blue onnas???*
In our native language Pedi, the pangolin is known as a Kgwara. To those pangolin devouring beings: If you bite off the ‘k’ and nibble down the ‘a’ you are left with a GWAR. If you understand Afrikaans, you will know that I did not just call you something nice.
*A Swiss couple touring the world came all the way down to SA to join the Antipants <3 *
Much like the pangi, us motorcyclists clad ourselves with protective gear; Kevlar, CE protectors, Dot/Snell approved helmets and impact foam. So, for this one day we decided to make ourselves vulnerable and shed our schubbe to ride through traffic and experience the feeling of defenselessness.
Animals can feel love, joy, fear and pain, but they have no means of communicating this to us.
*Locals supporting the cause. They gave us hundies for our undies*
I read a story where a rescued mother pangolin had to go for her daily walkies in the bush (they need to do this every night to feed or they will starve to death). In nature, the little baby pangi would have been hidden away in a hide-out while the mother goes out to graze. After four days at the rescue center, the mother pangolin came forward, holding her little pup on her front paws outstretched to her caretaker for safe keeping. A small gesture, but the message of trust was conveyed, and a bond was built between human and beastie.
*Battle of the guns!*
“Never apologize for being over sensitive and emotional when defending the welfare of wildlife. Let this be a sign that you have a big heart and aren't afraid to show your true feelings. These emotions give you the strength to fight for what is right and to be the voice of those who cannot be heard.”
― Paul Oxton ―
All the money we have collected, donated ourselves, and will still collect with this newsletter will go to
We are scraping together every cent that we can to donate to the pangolin.africa organization. They are making a film to inform people of the plight of the ietermagog. Award-winning South African filmmakers Bruce Young and Johan Vermeulen will be capturing all four species of African pangolin on film in the hope that if people come to know them, they will care enough to somehow help put a stop to this horrific trade.
INTRO: The Eye of the Pangolin
Their goal is to release the film on Endangered Species Day on 17 May 2019
If we can donate R7 000 (or more; preferably MORE) we will get an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT at the end of the movie under the name of Tank Girls. You will thus know that your pantless endeavours were not in vain.
The Pangolin is a peculiar looking creature and may not be the most beautiful or charismatic of the African species. No one would even miss a species they didn’t know existed and so it is imperative to teach people about this reticent little animal and give them the opportunity to fall in love with one of our weirder African creatures.
Some interesting information about the pangolin:
Also known as the Schubdier (yes – the Dutch were very original in naming this enigmatic creature)
A single pangolin can consume up to 20 000 ants a day. That is about 73 million ants a year! (neat to have around the house, hey!)
Some pangolin tongues are over 40cm long (mind… gutter… remove it now!)
*I asked the officer if his underwear label reads ‘metro’? He laughed and mumbled, “No – it says MAJOR”*
The Afrikaans name ‘ietermago’ comes from the Tswana words: machocho ("ant") and magogwe ("badger").
*It took me a while to catch on to the Lazy Lizard Brewery pun*
World Pangolin Day is on the third Saturday of February every year. Save a pangolin – LICK AN ANT!
“Love, not hate, is the burden we carry. But that fact makes it no lighter.”
― Nick Jans, A Wolf Called Romeo ―
*That moment when the camera flash goes off just as you’re having a sneak peek*
I’m allowed to blow smoke up your asses, by the time I’m sending this we have already collected R11 520-00!
*I did a little happy dance*
Extinction means forever!
Hannelie van Schalkwyk – photographer
Earl Oosthuizen of Focus 2 Frame – photographer
Everybody else that sent me photos – Dankie baie!
A bunch of heroes donned their undies and took to the streets of Pretoria to raise awareness of the plight of the pangolins (the most trafficked animal on earth). These guys produced copious amounts of boude AND bucks. If you care... you will show it! Please donate to protect this inimitable creature: www.pangolin.africa
Do you care as much as we do? You might not be able to spend a day in your broekies anymore (I’m not sure how open minded your boss is), but you can still donate. After you’ve laughed your gat off at our cracks – do us a favour and shake your wallet! Mark your donation with ‘pangolin’ and I will tally up the total at the end of the month to transfer to pangolin.africa
As requested by my overseas readers, you can donate to this newsletter on my PayPal account:
You can do an EFT transfer to the account below.
YouTube: Skinny van Schalkwyk