If you’ve been searching online this week (last minute dinner reservations anyone?) you’ve probably noticed Google has dedicated its Valentine’s Day doodle to two endangered Chinese pangolin’s looking for love.
It also happens to be one of the most in-depth Google doodles ever created and features a video game which took a year to develop and involved a six-person team of animators and engineers. The reason behind the current doodle is Google have partnered with the World Wildlife Fund to help raise awareness of the pangolin, who are on the brink of extinction due to being the most trafficked mammals in the world. They are in high demand by consumers for their meat and unique scales, and more than one million pangolins have been illegally taken from the wild to be used in fashion products and purported medicinal remedies.
The storyline involves two pangolins who despite being separated by distance have been struck by cupid’s arrow and have been sending each other love letters wherein they finally decide to meet for their first date on Valentine’s Day.
To ensure the path of true love runs smoothly, one pangolin journeys around the world to learn the art of romance. The first stop is in Ghana to learn how to make chocolate cake, then it’s off to India where the pangolin learns to write a melody that’s sure to touch the heart of its beloved. Next up it’s China, where the pangolin learns to dance by following the rhythm of it’s heart, then finally the Phillippines, where the pangolin learns the art of flower arrangement.
Google has included a link for players to donate to the cause and is encouraging people to learn more about the animals and how to help protect them from extinction by visiting the World Wildlife Fund website.