Subarnapur: The Special Task Force (STF) of Odisha police Crime Branch busted a pangolin smuggling racket and rescued a pangolin from Mahanadi Bridge near Rajakothi here in the district on Friday and arrested two persons for possessing the animal illegally.
Both the smugglers have been identified as Somnath Bag and Marsalan Bhengera of Ulunda under this district.
According to sources, a team of the Crime Branch rescued the animal from the smugglers while they were planning to sell it outside the state. The rescued animal was later handed over to Sonepur Forest Division.
The STF team also seized pangolin scales weighing 5 kg 65 gram from their possession. A case has been registered in this matter under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Sources said, the Indian pangolin has been listed as 'endangered'. Pangolins are often termed as the world’s most trafficked mammal. Their scales are used in traditional Asian medicine, particularly in China and Vietnam.
The animal’s scales are made of keratin, the same material that makes human fingernails and hair, and they have medicinal value. Pangolin meat is also considered to be a delicacy in some countries, and the scales are also used as jewellery and decorations for rituals.
(Edited by Suryakant Jena)