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Rashmi Ranjan

Bhubaneswar: Bringing laurels for Odisha,  Sasmita Lenka, a female forest officer from Odisha, has been awarded with United Nation's Asia Environmental Enforcement Award for her remarkable work in busting pangolin smuggling rackets in the State.

Lenka, the Divisional Forest Officer of Athagarh, received the award under the 'Gender Leadership and Impact' category.

The lady forest officer has helped in busting an international network of pangolin in Athagarh. She had also announced a reward of Rs 10,000 for information about suspects.

"We have seized three pangolins, including a dead one, and arrested 28 smugglers. The pangolins were being supplied to China, Vietnam, and Myanmar for black marketing...I'm glad my work was noticed. But it'll only stop once the pangolin is saved from extinction," Lenka said.

"The announcement of cash reward received a huge response as residents across 30 villages reached out with information. This helped us to take action against several criminals," Lenka added.

Moreover, Lenka also conducted many campaigns to create awareness among the locals about the illegal trade of pangolins which are considered as critically endangered on the IUCN red list of threatened species.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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