The Special Task Force (STF) wing of Odisha police rescued a live pangolin and arrested a wildlife smuggler in Kalahandi district.
The accused persons identified as Jitendra Kumar was apprehended near Karni Khunti village in between Bhawanipatna-Madanpur road under Narla police station limits. He was nabbed while carrying out a deal to sell the protected animal, said STF officials on Sunday.
With the latest interception of wildlife crime, the STF has made recovery of 14 live pangolins during separate raids in different places of the State in 2021. Besides, 30 kg 400 gm of pangolin scales were seized from 2021 till the present day.
The wild animal, a schedule-1 animal under wildlife protection act and highly endangered species, is accorded highest protection under law. The accused person was later remanded to judicial custody under Sections-9, 39 and 49 (B) of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and relevant sections of Indian Penal Code.
The Indian pangolin is a schedule-I protected animal under Wildlife Protection act, 1972. As it is a schedule-I, it is covered with absolute protection and offences under these are prescribed for the highest penalties, added the STF officials.