Thane police arrests two men trying to sell endangered Pangolin

Thane police arrests two men for trying to smuggle endangered Pangolin 1
The pangolin (inset) has been handed over to the Forest Department (Picture Courtesy: Binu Varghese)

Thane Crime Branch on Friday recovered an endangered Pangolin from two persons who were allegedly trying to sell it. Pangolins are the most illegally trafficked animal in the world according to the UN.

The officials seized the Pangolin and detained two men, one of whom was in possession of the nocturnal mammal at the time of arrest. Officials say that the accused were planning to sell it for Rs 40,000.

Crime Branch officials are probing if those apprehended are a part of a larger racket. The endangered animal, meanwhile, has been handed over to Forest department.

According to the Worldwatch Institute, Pangolins have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, but growing human populations and greater wealth across China have increased demand.

It’s foetuses, scales, and blood are used in medicine, the meat is considered a delicacy, and stuffed pangolins are sold as souvenirs.

Pangolin scales can fetch around Rs 2 lakh per kilogram in the international market, while its meat can fetch around Rs 20,000 per kilogram. Over 1 million have been estimated to have been poached since 2000.

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), there is virtually no population record for any of the eight known pangolin species. Moreover, all eight species of Pangolins are prohibited from international trade.

In 2016, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) bumped up the status of the Pangolin to ‘critically endangered’, a step away from ‘extinct’.

In one of the biggest crackdowns on Pangolin poaching in the country, over 120 poachers, traders, and middlemen were arrested by a special task force (STF) of the Madhya Pradesh forest department in a three year period since 2015.

Thane police arrests two men for trying to smuggle endangered Pangolin
The rescued pangolin being handed over to officials from the Forest Department (Picture Courtesy: Binu Varghese)
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