The Ugly Animal Ark is a show based on the existing Ugly Animals Preservation Society. This comedy night with a conservation twist was founded in Great Britain by biologist, writer and TV presenter Simon Watt to raise the profile of animal species which lack traditional aesthetically appealing characteristics. In part it is based on the belief that conservation of cute animals like pandas attract disproportionate amounts of funding that could be better spent elsewhere. The organisation aims to protect less attractive animals such as the proboscis monkey which also face threats.
"a completely unique evening's entertainment, with plenty of knowledge nuggets thrown in amongst the giggles" the Ugly Animals has played at the Cheltenham Science Festival, the Edinburgh Science Festival, the Green Man Festival in Wales, the Winchester Science Festival, The British Science Festival, Bristol Big Green Week and other events and festivals around the country.
Current ugly animal mascots include: for London, the proboscis monkey; for Cambridge, forms of endangered sea slug; for Bristol and Cheltenham, the three toed sloth; for Winchester, the Titicaca water frog; for Brighton, the naked mole-rat and for Newcastle the dugong.
Promachoteuthis sulcus, championed by Peter Harrison, was elected to be the Edinburgh mascot. Peter referred to it as the "gob faced squid" because of its disturbingly human like mouth. This name has since been adopted as the common name for the species.
The blobfish, mascot of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society