A pangolin smuggling racket was busted in the Subarnapur district of Odisha after the Special Task Force (STF) rescued a pangolin from Mahanadi Bridge in Rajakothi on Friday. The Odisha Police has arrested two persons for smuggling the animal.

Somnath Bag and Ulunda’s Marsalan Bhengera are two accused who belong to the same district. The Crime Branch of Odisha Police rescued the pangolin when the smugglers were trying to sell it to some other state. The pangolin was soon handed over to the Sonepur Forest Division.

The police also recovered the pangolin scales that weigh 5 kg and 65 grams. A separate case has been lodged on this under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Indian pangolin belongs to endangered species. Globally too, pangolin is one of the most trafficked mammal. The scales of a pangolin is used for traditional Asian medicine and attract high prices in countries like China and Vietnam.

Keratin makes the scales of pangolin so valuable. It is the same material that we have in our finger nails and hair. The medicinal value of Keratin is high and so is the price of the Pangolin meat, which is considered as a delicacy in some countries.

The other use of the pangolin scales is making jewellery and decoration items for rituals.