Scaly anteater or Pangolin is a rare and highly endangered mammal found in the rocky terrain of Ramadurga, Agoli, Sanapura reserve forest and in Daroji Bear Sanctuary all in Karnataka state of India. It is a nocturnal animal that feeds upon ants only. It rips open the ant hill with its sharp claws and presses its snout into it and thrusts its sticky and flexible tongue inside the ant hill. The ants stick to the tongue which the animal draws back and eats the ants. In the morning the animal retreats into its burrow and never come out during the day. Pangolin’s Pellets containing only ant heads can often be seen in and around the land protected by Wildlife sOS as part of its habitat protection project in the Ramdurga conservation area.
As the Pangolin is a nocturnal and highly shy animal people almost never see this animal. During rainy season pangolins enter into the agriculture land in search of ants and sometimes it is seen by people and often killed because the people don’t know what it is kill it because of fear and ignorance. It is also observed that some tribal people kill the animal and eat it. They use several techniques like putting out noose snares made of clutch wire or sometimes using hunting dogs to sniff out the burrows and then they dig them out..
Recently Mr.Samad the Honorary Wildlife Warden of Bellary district and consultant to WSOS found a group of people taking photos of a pangolin with their mobiles. When he went to the spot he found a juvenile pangolin tied tightly with clutch wires. One strand of the wire had cut into its flesh while the other was tied so tightly that it had bitten deep into the thigh and the blood was dripping steadily from a huge cut. No one seemed to know where it had come from or how and only said that they found the animal in this sad state. It was confirmed that the pangolin was snared the previous day and it could not escape.
The staff of WSOS picked up the pangolin in its jeep and took to the Honorary Wildlife Warden of Koppal district, Mr.D.Vallabhachandra conservation area. Mr.Vallabhachandra and Mr.Samad removed the clutch wire and treated the injuries with anti-biotics. When the animal become normal, they released it in the Sanapura Reserve Forest where Pangolins have been seen.
Thus WSOS rescued and conserved a rare and highly endangered animal from the hands of hunters. “Its is the need of the hour to educate the people around the forest areas and the school children on the wildlife and conservation feels” Geetha Seshamani secretary WSOS