Two persons were arrested in the Boudh district on Wednesday for allegedly trading protected wildlife and two live pangolins were rescued from their possession, informed the police.
The Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata), also called thick-tailed pangolin, scaly anteater and bajrakapta is a solitary, shy, slow-moving, nocturnal mammal. It is a schedule-I protected animal under the Wild Life Protection act, 1972. Schedule-I provides absolute protection to these species and offences under the said act are prescribed for the highest penalties.
According to the officials, the accused have been identified as Ucchab Kanhar and Prashant Kumar.
Based on a tip-off the Special Task Force (STF) along with forest officials conducted a raid and nabbed the accused near Boudh bypass road, said J. N. Pankaj Inspector General, STF, Bhubaneswar.
"During the search, two live pangolins weighing 13kg and 10kg respectively along with other incriminating materials were recovered and the accused were arrested after they could not prove any authority in support of the possession of the endangered species," added IG Pankaj.
The officials further informed that the accused have been arrested under Sections 379/411/120(B) of the Indian Penal Code and Section Section 51 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 and will be produced in court.
As per IG Pankaj, the pangolins have been handed over to Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Boudh for safe custody.
Further investigation into the matter is underway. (ANI)