Serena Josephine. M
PUDUCHERRY: A pangolin, also known as Scaly Anteater, was found near a house on Chetty Street in Dharmapuri area of Puducherry on Saturday. Enlisted as an endangered species, the pangolin has been housed on the Forest Department premises. A resident of Chetty Street had found the scaly anteater in his garden during the early hours of Saturday. A team from the department went to the spot at 6 a.m. and rescued the animal. Residents of the locality gathered to look at the rare animal.
“Pangolin feeds on all kinds of ants, especially termites. Its body is covered with scales made of keratin. Nothing can penetrate it,” Conservator of Forest P. Devaraj told The Hindu.
About three years old, the mammal was 2.5-foot long, Agriculture Officer K. Sivakumar said. “Pangolin is enlisted in Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The maximum life span of pangolins is 15 years. It reaches maturity by two to three years,” he said.
Pangolin is a nocturnal animal. It rolls itself into a ball as a defence mechanism and when scared, Mr. Sivakumar said.
“They are usually found in hilly regions. This is the first time a pangolin has been found in Puducherry. We are studying this aspect and further investigation will be carried out. There is a possibility that it could have come from the nearby area of Muthirapalayam,” Mr. Sivakumar said. Officials of the department have contacted their counterparts at the Vandalur Zoo, Chennai, on the kind of food to be given to the anteater.