Sonepur (Odisha) : Two persons were arrested in Odisha’s Sonepur district on Wednesday for allegedly trading protected wildlife and two live pangolins were rescued from their possession, informed the police.
According to the officials, the accused have been identified as Bedabyasa Dharua (41) and Nabadeep Dharua (29). Based on a tip-off the Special Task Force (STF) along with forest officials conducted a raid and nabbed the accused near Nachhipura and Sonepur main road in Sonepur district, said JN Pankaj Inspector General, STF, Bhubaneswar.
“During the search, two live pangolins weighing 7 kg and 3 kg respectively were recovered and the accused were arrested after they could not prove any authority in support of the possession of the endangered species,” added IG Pankaj.
As per IG Pankaj, the pangolins have been handed over to Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Sonepur for safe custody.
Further investigation is underway.
The Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata), also called thick-tailed pangolin, scaly anteater and bajrakapta is a solitary, shy, slow-moving, nocturnal mammal. It is a schedule-I protected animal under the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972. Schedule-I provides absolute protection to these species and offences under the said act are prescribed for the highest penalties.