Pangolins are thought to be the most-trafficked mammals in the world. They're traded by the ton.

Editor’s Note: John D. Sutter is a columnist for CNN Opinion and creator of CNN’s Change the List project. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+. E-mail him at The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

Story highlights

Creator of the viral video about honey badgers makes a new video, this time on pangolins

Quirky, scale-covered creatures are thought to be the most-trafficked mammals in the world

CNN gave the viral video maker its footage for use in the pangolin video

Activists worry that the pangolin could go extinct before most people realize they exist

CNN  — 

Chances are you’ve heard of the honey badger; you know that it “don’t give a sh**” about the bees that are stinging its face, and you know it “don’t care” about that cobra that’s poised for attack. And if you know all of that, it’s probably because you’re one of 66.4 million people who have watched the 2011 viral video called “The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger,” by a sassy nature lover.

“Oh, that’s so nasty!”

Now, Randall – not his real name – is trying to raise the profile of another little-known creature: the pangolin. He’s doing it in hopes people will learn about this weird, scale-covered mammal before it goes extinct. There’s a massive international black market for pangolin scales and meat. It’s often traded by the ton.

Check out his new video on YouTube: “Honey Badger Narrates: The Mysterious & Endangered Pangolin.”

John D. Sutter

“They really just wanna chill-chill,” he says off the top.

Randall agreed to edit the video in collaboration with CNN’s Change the List project. You can read more about it at

I went to Vietnam and Indonesia in February to try to figure out how this illegal market for pangolin works and what might be done to save this loveable underdog. Some researchers think the pangolin may be the most-trafficked mammal in the world. You can see some of my footage in a CNN video called “Inside the illegal animal trade” and in Randall’s YouTube video. We gave him access to the material in hopes he could help raise awareness.

Randall has a unique knack for making an unknown creature popular. If any animal could use that help, it’s the pangolin.