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Poaching of endangered Pangolin remains ignored by Assam government

BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Jan 3: Although state has been taking certain measures for checking poaching of one horned Rhino, it has failed to bring any awareness about the poaching of pangolin in the region which is recently declared as the most endangered mammal of the planet by Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild fauna and Flora (CITES).
 Pangolin popularly known as ‘Bon Rou’ amongst the people of the region is a mammal which has scales all over its body and looks like a Mongoose. The scales of this Mongoose like looking reptile contain the same keratin which is contained in the Rhino horn. There is a huge black market of the scales of pangolin in countries like China, Laos, Vietnam and the alike. But, unlike Rhino poaching people are still unaware that hunting of Pangolin or poaching is illegal.
Speaking to this reporter, Environmentalist Mubina Akhtar said, “The scales of the Pangolins are very valuable. They contain keratin which is used for various purposes and also are used in traditional Chinese medicine to cure everything from asthma to reproductive problems: even cancer. So, poachers kill the pangolins remove their scales and sell it for huge amount in China as China is nearest. “
“Pangolins are found mostly in districts of Upper Assam, I found some while I was in Golaghat. It is found in forests and tea garden areas. When the labors find them they hunt pangolins and make it a feast as the meat is of extremely good taste. They are still unaware that killing of pangolin is illegal under Wildlife protection act. They only know that killing of Rhino, tiger and elephant is illegal. There shall be proper awareness programmes in such areas.”
She said that punishment for killing of pangolin shall be made stronger in order to protect this species from getting extinct from this region. The government also shall take certain awareness programmers and proper forces to keep eye upon any kind of such activities happening in the state.