Rescued Pangolin released on the International Biodiversity Day

An Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) was rescued on the night of 21st May, 2019 from the Industrial area in Samdrup Jongkhar. Acting upon the tipoff from the local people, Mr. Ugyen Chophel (Dzongkhag Beautification Officer) and I rushed to the site and rescued a healthy male Pangolin, trying to encroach into the human settlement. It was immediately taken to the Forest Office and kept in the captivity for its safe release on the next day.

As per the literature, the Indian pangolin is a solitary, shy, slow-moving and mostly nocturnal, and terrestrial mammal. This species is listed as Endangered A3d+4d due to the hunting and increasing levels of poaching, principally for its meat and scales, both for local use and for illicit international trade in scales, which has also occurred historically (International Union for Conservation of Nature [IUCN], 2013).

This species is reported to be found in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri-Lanka and possibly in the parts of China and Myanmar. No in-depth study was carried out on the global population densities; however, this species is thought to be in significant decline, primarily due to poaching for food and medicinal purposes locally (IUCN, 2013).

The same species was rescued and released back to its natural habitat sometimes in 2016, and this is a second time that Divisional Forest Office in Samdrup Jongkhar was involved in rescuing the wild Pangolin. Today, coinciding the International Day for Biological Diversity, we safely released the wild Pangolin into its natural habitat with a theme, “Our Biodiversity, our food, our Health” and for our healthy ecosystem. There are so few pangolins remaining in the world and their return to the wild is a victory for our conservation.

-Divisional Forest Office, Samdrup Jongkhar

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