GUWAHATI: Assam Forest Department on Sunday rescued an adult Pangolin and arrested three people from Bongaigaon.
The accused were arrested for their involvement in trading the endangered wildlife species under relevant sections of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Pangolins — banned under the wildlife act — are among the most trafficked mammals and their meat and scales have a large market in south Asian countries.
According to the forest officials the rescued Pangolin’s price in the illegal market would be around Rs. 25 lakh.
The accused trio has been identified as Ilias Ahmed and Mohammad Jamaruiddin of Dhubri and Bikas Chetri of Chirang district, Assam.
“Acting on a tip we started tracking the three accused and seized the Pangolin from their possession and later we took the accused into Bongaigaon Depot custody for further interrogation and also seized a vehicle,” said an Assam Forest Department official.
Pangolin poaching and smuggling has rapidly risen in Assam due to the very high demand for its scale. The scaly anteaters have large, protective keratin scales covering their skins and the main cause of pangolin poaching is because of these scales.