What's a 'pangolin' and why is this adorable 5-year-old trying t - | WBTV Charlotte

What's a 'pangolin' and why is this adorable 5-year-old trying to save them?

(Kristen Hampton | WBTV) (Kristen Hampton | WBTV)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

CHARLOTTE, NC (Tara Kelleher/WBTV) - Most 5-year-olds don’t make it their mission in life to save the world, but for Landon Knestrick, he’d at least like to try and save a small part of it.

This pint-sized conservationist is starting his journey by trying to save a critically endangered animal called the pangolin.

“It was very confusing at first,” says Landon’s mother, Christina Knestrick. “He kept telling us, and we thought he was saying penguin.”

Most people have never even heard of a pangolin before, but when Landon saw the curious creatures on the PBS TV show "Wild Kratz," he started learning everything about them.

“They curl up into a ball when they’re in danger,” Landon said with an adorable demonstration using his stuffed pangolin.

The 5-year-old asked parents Nathan and Christina to help him spread the word by posting to their social media and getting the word out to their friends. Poaching has caused the animals to become endangered.

“They will be instinct (which is Landon’s word for ‘extinct’) before anybody will know about them,” he said. But not if he has anything to do with it. 

Landon has raised hundreds of dollars by making and selling Christmas ornaments. He has set a goal of $1,000 with all the proceeds going to groups that focus on saving his favorite animal.

If you think a 5-year-old is too young to save the pangolins, you’d be wrong. 

Landon reminds us, “Nobody’s too young to save anything.”

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