The recently established Ugly Animal Preservation Society (UAPS) is dedicated to raising awareness of the existence and getting more attention for “Mother Nature’s more aesthetically challenged children” as president Simon Watt calls them. So drawing attention to these ugly animals that need saving too, instead of the panda which gets too much attention.
Watt’s society is lacking a mascot , and it should be one that rivals the cute and cuddly emblems of many charities and organisations, according UAPS’ website.
Therefore Watt, who is also an evolutionary biologist, and his team organise events – comedy nights – with comedians who will each champion a different ugly endangered species. And at the end of the evening the audience vote for what will become the society’s symbol. In short, a comedy night with a conservation twist.
One of the animals competing to be the society’s mascot is the naked mole rat, which is to certain standards ‘very ugly’. But its resistance to cancer has furthered research that can one day help humans. In addition it is one of the cleanest critters, since it builds latrine chambers to keep its waste isolated from eating and sleeping areas.
See what Simon Watt, society’s president, has to say about UAPS: