Poaching of Pangolins rampant in AP-TS forest areas; two arrested, Pangolin rescued

By DECCAN CHRONICLE | Sampat G Samaritan

2 December 2022

Vijayawada: Poaching of Pangolins from forest areas of both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana is becoming rampant. AP forest officials rescued a Pangolin recently and arrested two persons. Officials say they have credible information of some miscreants making plans to poach them again.

The Pangolin was rescued at Macherla in Palnadu district where a woman kept it in her house. Noticing the injuries on its body, a forest team provided medical treatment to it at the animal rescue centre and later released it back into the forest.

River Krishna separates the forest area between AP and TS. AP forest department noticed that poaching of Pangolins was taking place in the forest area near Nalgonda in TS and these are being brought to AP by gangs looking for potential buyers.

Each Pangolin is said to fetch as high as Rs 10 lakh to Rs 80 lakh. Their scales and parts of the body are believed to be used for medicinal purposes in China and other countries. The scales are also used for making bullet-proof jackets and wallets.

Locals with support from those familiar with the topography of forests, like tribals and fishermen, are keeping a tab on them and poaching them for sale.

Pangolin survives on ants and termites and lives in anthills and termite mounds. When someone approaches to catch them, these shy animals coil into the shape of a ball. This helps poachers to catch and place them in bags to conceal identity.

These locals having contacts with traders alert them about their catch. Various means including social media platforms are used to sell them for a good price before personnel from forest task force and wildlife crime control bureau zero in on them.

Deputy director of Project Tiger, Markapur, G Vignesh Appaevu, said, “We have rescued a Pangolin and arrested two persons recently. We again got credible information about their poaching from the same forest area. We have formed special teams and gathered intelligence. We would soon nab the culprits.”

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