WATCH: Critically endangered pangolin creates panic in Sargodha

A juvenile Sunda pangolin feeds on termites at the Singapore Zoo on June 30, 2017. — AFP

In a surprising incident, a pangolin — one of the critically endangered species on the earth — on Sunday entered a Sargodha market and created panic among shoppers and shopkeepers.

Unable to identify the “bizarre animal”, frightened people promptly contacted rescue officials and sought their help.

Taking swift action over the phone call, the rescue officials quickly reached the spot and overcame the “strange animal”, later identified as a pangolin.

Meanwhile, District Emergency Officer Tahira Khan directed the rescue officials to hand over the pangolin to the Wildlife Department so that the animal could be freed in its natural habitat.

It is pertinent to mention here that pangolin is sold at $600 per kilogramme in the international market.

Pangolins, scale-covered insect-eating mammals that are typically the size of a full-grown cat, are mostly active at night, snuffling through deadwood for ants and termites.

Their scales — made of keratin, like human nails — are also prized by consumers abroad for their supposed medicinal properties, fetching much-needed money.

Believed to be the world’s most trafficked animal, pangolins are only found in the wild in Asia and Africa, but their numbers are plummeting under pressure from poaching.

— Additional input from AFP 

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