Villagers Call Authorities on Spotting 'Crocodile', Turns out To Be Something Else

The forest department in Madhya Pradesh has rescued a pangolin from a village in Neemuch district, an official said on Thursday.

Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Satish Kumar said the department received information on Wednesday that a pangolin was spotted in Baman Bardi village under Ratangarh Range of the district.

"The villagers initially mistook this rare mammal for a crocodile. But on reaching the village, the forest team found that it was a pangolin," he said.

The rescued animal would be released at a safer place, he added.

According to the DFO, to safeguard pangolin species, India has accorded the highest levels of protection to it under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

"Hunting of this scaly creature is banned and a special task force (STF) has also been set up in the state for its protection," Kumar said.

This nocturnal animal feeds mainly on ants and termites, he said, adding that due to some misconceptions, people kill the animal to use its scales to make traditional medicines. ​

Earlier, in a similar incident in Gurugram, a Pangolin was beaten to death as villagers had confused it with a rare snake.

(with inputs from PTI)