Hasimara, 15th March: Two persons were caught smuggling a live Pangolin on Saturday from Hasimara under Kalchini block of Alipurduar district in West Bengal.
In a joint operation with forest officials, troops of SSB ‘C’ Company Jaigaon led by Company Commander Neeraj Kumar Sharma, seized a live Pangolin. The Pangolin weighed approx 4 kgs and of length 95 cm.
The smugglers namely Jayant Roy of Shilbari Hat, Alipurduar and Janak Roy of Kokrajhar, Assam were caught along with a motorcycle bearing vechile regt. no. WB-70H-2870 from Hasimara petrol pump.
Forest officials said, “the recovered Pangolin was smuggled from Assam and it was to be delivered to some unknown person at Hasimara. More people are likely to be involved in this case, which is being investigated” The seized items along with apprehended person were handed over to Jaldapara Wildlife Division, Madarihat. Further investigation is under progress by Forest officials. The persons arrested in the incident will be produced in Alipurduar Court.
It is to be noted, that Pangolin are endangered species. They are unique mammals popularly known as anteaters. Their body is covered with hard scales made of protein called keratin and they mainly feeds on ants and termites. They are highly vulnerable to poaching for their scales, skin, meat and various body parts used in traditional medicines and yields high prices in the international markets. The species is protected under Schedule I of India’s Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.