Bhubaneswar: The blood and swab samples of a pangolin, which was rescued from Mahulia quarantine centre in Badamba, under Athagarh Forest Division in Cuttack district, have tested negative for coronavirus.
This was for the first time that a COVID-19 test was conducted on a pangolin in the country.
Confirming the news, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) H S Upadhyay said that the Centre of Wildlife Health at OUAT facilitated the sample testing of the five-year-old female pangolin.
“Since the pangolin was rescued from the facility where 42 persons were quarantined, we decided to send its swab for a coronavirus test,” said Athagarh Divisional Forest Officer Sasmita Lenka
It will be released into the wild by Thursday, she added.
How the scaly ant-eater ended up at the quarantine centre is yet to be ascertained.
A week ago, three persons were arrested in connection with trafficking of a pangolin from Rairakhol to Cuttack. While one was nabbed from Angul, the other two were apprehended in Rairakhol. Five other persons arrested in connection with the racket are said to have links with Andhra Pradesh.