BORIS Johnson kept a stuffed toy of a ‘coronavirus-spreading pangolin’ on his desk in the Foreign Office, it has emerged.
Ending the trade of the endangered animal – considered a delicacy in the Far East – was one of the PM’s causes when he was Foreign Secretary.
The PM also used to jog in a T-shirt emblazoned with the message, “Save the pangolin”.
The virus originated in bats.
But it is believed to have passed to humans through a live pangolin being sold to eat in a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan – the pandemic’s epicentre.
The revelation was made by Australia’s former foreign minister Julie Bishop, who recalled: “When I visited him he had a big stuffed furry animal, a pangolin, on his desk.
“He was very keen that we save this animal that was facing extinction.
“That was one of his causes there for a while, I’m not sure he is still in that frame of mind”.
Scaley and toothless pangolins are among the most trafficked animals on the planet.
Boris’s ex-MEP father Stanley Johnson is a passionate wildlife campaigner and has converted his son to back a number of his causes.
They include banning animals performing in circuses, which the PM also pushed for internally as a government minister.