Pangolin scales widely traded illegally in Dolakha

Published On: April 12, 2019 04:00 AM NPT By: Ramesh Khatiwada

DOLAKHA, April 12: The unabated poaching and smuggling of the rare anteater pangolin has led to its disappearance from most parts of Dolakha.

The scales and skin of Pangolin are widely traded in various villages of Dolakha, pushing this endangered mammal to extinction. It is often considered as the farmers' best friend as it lives under mud and eats insects and ants that harm the sand and the crops.

In the last four months, police have seized more than nine kilograms of pangolin scales in Dolakha. On Monday alone, a team of Armed Police Force seized four kilograms of pangolin scales in Babare. Earlier, a team of Nepal Police had confiscated five kilograms of pangolin scales from two different places.

The hunting and poaching of pangolins is very much common especially in the northern and eastern parts of Dolakha. Police speculate that groups of people are active in the villages to hunt pangolins and supply them to Kathmandu. The scales and skin of this mammal are widely sold in China as well.

Though the police manage to find the scales and skin of the Pangolin, those involved in the smuggling are rarely caught. This is because smugglers are wisely deploying porters to transport the smuggled parts of the animal, according to police. After three months of investigation, Armed Police Force battalion, Charikot, was successful in confiscating five kilograms of pangolin scales from Babare.

However, the smugglers involved in poaching could not be brought under police net. Armed Police Force men disguised as customers had asked a person to provide 10 kg of scales through a phone call. Following which the person on the phone had told that he can only provide them four kilograms of scales for now and will send the remaining scales later. Armed Police Force officials were called to Prithvi Bazaar of Babare on Monday evening.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Kiran Kumar Kathayat, the commander of the battalion, stated that the smuggler succeeded in escaping as it was nighttime. However, he claimed that the person involved has already been identified and will be soon arrested.

Reportedly, poachers had killed those pangolins from the villages of Bigu and Gaurishankar Rural municipalities. These areas fall under Gaurishankar Conservation Area. Satya Narayan Shah, chief of the conservation area, claimed that there could be no poaching in this area as there are very few pangolins in the area. "Pangolins are found in Laduk of Dolakha and Fulpingkati of Sindhupalchowk only. So, it's not possible that such a huge number of Pangolins were killed in Gaurishakar area," said Shah.


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