Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pangolin rescued from irrigation well in Gir.

Himanshu Kaushik, TNN Jun 22, 2011, 01.12am IST
AHMEDABAD: How uncommon the pangolin is, was evident from a rescue operation that the forest department carried out in Gir forest after villagers tipped them off about a crocodile falling into an irrigation well.
The rescue team lead by Dr R K Hirpara set out ready to save a crocodile but when they reached the site at Surajgadh village, 8 kms from Sasan, they realized that it was a pangolin, a mammal belonging to the scaly anteater species.
Sandeep Kumar, deputy conservator of forest (headquarter) who had earlier captured a pangolin's encounter with lionesses on his camera, told TOI that the team from Sasan found the animal curled around the pipe used to draw water from the well.
One of the team members tried to save the animal by manually getting down in the well. But the difficulty of the operation increased as the pangolin kept going further down and there was a possibility that it could have drowned.
Finally, the rescue team lowered a net over the water. As the pangolin found the net a safe place, it slipped on to the net and the team pulled the pangolin out.
Later, it was brought to the Sasan rescue centre. The animal was in deep stress as it had consumed a lot of water. It was kept under observation and was finally released on Monday night.
Kumar said that it was a male pangolin, around three years old and 3 feet long, weighing over 7.5 kg.
In the last few months, sightings of animals like pangolin, and rusty spotted cat, which are otherwise rare, have increased considerably in Gir National Park and Sanctuary, said Kumar.

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