In a joint operation with the Forest Department, the Special Task Force (STF) wing of the Odisha Police on Wednesday rescued a live pangolin and arrested one wildlife smuggler in the Khordha district.
The accused identified as Jayakrushna Tarai was apprehended from near Brahmandi Chowk on the NH-16 under Tangi police station jurisdiction. He was nabbed while carrying out a deal to sell the protected animal, said the STF.
“During search one live pangolin and other incriminating materials were recovered from his possession. The accused could not produce any authority in support of possession of such live pangolin, for which he was arrested and was forwarded to the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class court in Tangi. The live pangolin was later handed over to the Divisional Forest Officer, Khordha for safe custody. Further investigation is underway,” said the STF in a statement.
The Indian pangolin is a solitary, shy, slow-moving, nocturnal mammal. It is a Schedule-I protected animal under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The Schedule-I provides absolute protection and offences under these are prescribed for the highest penalties.