Two poachers were caught while trying to sell an Indian Pangolin in Vashi on Wednesday, police said.
According to the Vashi police, the animal was rescued in a joint operation with the Thane Forest Department and Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare (RAWW). The poachers have been arrested.
Officers said the pangolin was handed over to the RAWW for medical examination and care. The animal was found to be “completely dehydrated and traumatised” because of captivity. It had also sustained minor injuries, Vashi police sources said.
After the completion of tests, it was taken to Sanjay Gandhi National Park. A source from the Vashi police said by Thursday, the animal was “active and behaving normally”.
A microchip will be inserted in the pangolin, after which it will be ready to be released, the source added.
Pangolins are one of the most endangered and threatened species in India, and have the highest level of protection status under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. According to a reply tabled in Parliament by the Centre last year, a little under 4 per cent of all wildlife-related crimes registered under the Wildlife Protection Act in 2018 were against pangolins.
Pangolin scales are mainly used in traditional oriental remedies. Their dried scales are used to make luxury items. The animal is also killed for meat.