Mission Wildlife to hold two-day fundraiser

Pangolins are commonly poached for their meat and scales.
(Mission Wildlife)

After scaling back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit Mission Wildlife will hold fundraisers on Oct. 2-3 at Casa de Glory in downtown San Diego.

“Our whole purpose is to raise awareness, raise funds and educate about imperiled species around the world,” said Julie Scardina, Mission Wildlife cofounder and president. “It definitely was a bit harder because our main strategy is to hold events, which people love to come to because they’re very unique events.”

This year, the two imperiled species that Mission Wildlife are raising awareness and money for are the pangolin, which Scardina described as a “cross between an armadillo and an artichoke” due to its armored exterior, and painted dogs, which are found in the wild only in Africa.

Pangolins, the most trafficked animals in the world, are also known as scaly anteaters because of their appearance and diet, according to the World Wildlife Foundation. They are commonly poached for their meat and scales.

There are fewer than 7,000 painted dogs throughout the African continent, according to the Zimbabwe-based Painted Dog Conservation. The conservation’s operations manager, David Kuvawoga, will be in attendance at the Mission Wildlife fundraiser.

The nonprofit’s Oct. 2 event will be a Painted Dog and Pangolin Party VIP experience from 4-7 p.m., followed by a Wild Celebration on Oct. 3 from 1-4 p.m..

“Both of them are going to be spectacular as always,” Scardina said, adding that the two dates were scheduled to make social distancing easier.

Scardina, who lives in Poway, said the organization has come a long way from its first fundraiser in 2014, which raised about $4,000.

“Believe it or not, here we are seven years later and many of those same people have attended our event year after year,” she said. “And they’ve brought their friends, their family because of the fact that it is such a unique event. Nobody else throws a fundraiser with all the components we bring to it.”

She added that the organization had “a tremendous response” after announcing these two events.

“We’re just excited to be back in business, so to speak,” she said. “We’re a group of all volunteers that run Mission Wildlife. And it is just because of the passion that each one of us has for animals and for conservation that we put efforts in all year long to be able to give back to imperiled species.”

For more information, visit missionwildlifeconservation.org.