Pangolins are shy, scaled African anteaters that heartless people will pay hundreds of dollars to eat. (They sort of resemble artichokes with legs, but that’s no excuse.) But even though they look like metallic pinecones that belong in a sci-fi film, all they want to do is roll around in the mud like a giddy pup. Watch the cuteness:

The footage is courtesy of the Rare and Endangered Species Trust, which filmed the pangolin in Namibia. Eight species of the mammal exist in Asia and Africa, but they’re quickly dwindling due to poachers, as Chinese medicine makes use of their scales. (What else is new? Sob!) This playful pangolin’s antics may serve a useful purpose, according to Earth Touch:

[H]e may be rolling in the mud for more than just fun. The mud may help with fighting parasites in between the pangolin’s scales as well as cooling him down.

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Pangolins: cute AND smart. (And riddled with parasites.) What’s that? You needed more pangolin cuteness? Here’s a pic of a baby pangolin riding on its mom’s tail, because that’s how they get around.

Adorbs! Learn more at Project Pangolin.

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