Angry Birds may be one of the most useless of video games ever inflicted on smartphone owners, but it can also be used for a worthy cause.
Prince William has teamed up with Rovio Entertainment, the Finnish makers of the wildly addictive digital game franchise, to call the world’s attention to the plight of the pangolin.
The pangolins or scaly anteaters are in danger of extinction because of rampant poaching. Over the last decade, more than a million of them have been killed because of the huge demand for their meat, which is considered a delicacy, and their scales, which are used in traditional medicine as well as as home decors.
The British royal, through his charity United for Wildlife, has launched a special Angry Birds game featuring the endangered animals, in the hope that it will boost efforts to save them from extinction.
The game, called Roll with the Pangolins, will be available to an estimated 200 million Angry Birds players worldwide, and a week-long tournament in the game started Monday, Agence France-Presse reports.
In a video message that accompanied the launch of the game, the Duke of Cambridge said the trade in animal parts was helping to fund criminal gangs and even extremist groups.
“The pangolin runs the risk of becoming extinct before most people have even heard of them,” he said.
In fact, “all the eight pangolin species are now listed as threatened with extinction, largely because they are being illegally traded to China and Vietnam”, MailOnline quoted Professor Jonathan Baillie, co-chair of the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group, as saying.
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