Animal welfare: The project saving the planet one tattoo at a time


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When US-based conservationist Molly Tsongas decided to raise awareness of endangered animals, she knew a great medium: tattoos. "Maybe I should tattoo my whole body with endangered species and become a media sensation to get the word out," is what she says she thought.

Luckily, friends intervened and helped her to come up with a project that lets volunteers combine caring for creatures in peril and getting inked, calling it Tatzoo (

Would-be "conservation leaders" sign up for a training programme and then prove that animal welfare has got under their skin by getting a beastie branded on their bodies. The only downside is whether the four local (to San Francisco) species that Tsongas champions in this video will make for top tatts.

The snowy plover? Boring. The metalmark butterfly? A bit girly. The blue whale? OK if you don't mind either a supersized design or minimising the sea beast's majesty. The San Francisco garter? Ophiophobics need not apply...