Indian Pangolin (Manis Crassicaudata) is a nocturnal and very secretive wild animal,found in the rainforest,hills and plains of Indian Subcontinent. The pangolin or scaly anteater is locally known as chippu handi, eenampechi, bajrakapta, saal khapri and sallu saanp in India.
Indian Pangolin is highly endangered animal in India and world’s most hunted as well as most trafficked animal in the World. The endangered Thick Tailed Pangolin is being hunted for its meat,various body parts and scaly skin.
The Indian pangolin may be more arboreal but mostly nocturnal and terrestrial. They are entirely insectivorous and diet includes mainly ants and termites but also feeds on beetles, cockroaches and possibly worms. Nocturnal and slow moving pangolin has cone-shaped head and long sticky tongue to feed specially on termites and ants.
Indian Pangolin lives in various forest types including grasslands,rainforest,secondary forests and also well adapted to desert regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Pangolin distributed throughout Indian states and found in the Western ghats,Nilgiri mountains and forest of Kerala, Maharashtra Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
India is home to the Pangolin and the animal become the world’s most heavily trafficked animal. Almost 100,000 Indian pangolins are estimated to be hunted and sold every year for illegal trade. Indian Pangolin is smuggled from India for its meat and scales, used traditional Chinese and Vietnamese medicines.
Although the Indian Pangolin is a protected species but the population is declining due to hunting and poaching. Breeding of pangolins in captivity is very difficult but successful reproduction of Indian pangolins have been reported from Calcutta Zoo and Nandankanan Zoological Park of Odisha.