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Friday October 22, 2021

Villager injures rare pangolin in Margallah Hills

October 14, 2021

Islamabad : The Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) has found out the pangolin that was injured in an attack by a local villager in the Margallah Hills National Park (MHNP).

According to the details, when the pangolin was walking around in the forest area during a storm couple of days back, a local villager attacked it with an axe. The pangolin received severe injuries and was later found by an employee of the IWMB.

Now the IWMB is taking care of the pangolin that is considered one of the rare and attractive species of the national park. This mammal is always subjected to torture or poaching due to some false perceptions made by the people.

The people consider that pangolin digs the graves in order to hunt the ants and this activity makes the graves porous and whenever it rains the water enters the graves eventually destroying them.

Inam Rasheed, an expert in biodiversity conservation, said Pangolins play an important ecological role as their burrowing behaviour aerates and mixes the soil, improving its nutrient quality. Their abandoned burrows create additional shelter for other wildlife and their diet of ants and termites make them natural pest controllers. He said the scales of pangolin consist of ‘Keratin’, which was the same material contained by human nails and hairs.

“The scales are used in the traditional Chinese medicines due to some wrong folk lore that they contain fantastic medicinal qualities. Similarly, it is believed that the flesh of the pangolin has extraordinary healing properties in a long list of ailments,” he said.

The IWMB chairperson said “We have now planned to install trackers before releasing the wildlife species inside the national park. The elusive but ecologically vital pangolin is the only mammal in the world having scales on its fluffy and soft body. But, unfortunately, this armoured coat is its number one enemy.”