Forest officials rescued a pangolin from the residential area of Gopalapatnam in Vizag city on Friday. The pangolin was spotted by locals at Sri Ramnagar Colony Block-I of Gopalapatnam in Vizag city in the wee hours of Friday and they alerted the forest department.
Initially the locals at the Gopalapatnam area mistook it for a crocodile due to the exoskeleton. As word spread, people gathered to catch a glimpse of the pangolin, a highly protected species under the Wild Life protection Act.
The forest officials said that the pangolin was found near a washroom of a house of the Sri Ramnagar Colony. Some residents in the area were scared after seeing the animal as they had no idea about it and assumed that it may harm humans. Normally, pangolins stay in a forest area and due to the recent gas leakage incidents, this particular beast may strayed into the residential area in the city.
Deputy Forest Range Officer K Ramu said that the pangolin was taken to a veterinarian at Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in Vizag. “If it is found to be in good health, we will release the animal into the forest,” he said. Indian pangolin is an endangered species in India. It is also the world’s most hunted as well as most trafficked animal, forest officials said.