Rare Giant Squirrel Rescued, Eatery Owner Held In Odisha’s Gajapati

Paralakhemundi: An eatery owner was arrested by forest officials for illegally possessing a rare Indian giant squirrel in Luhagudi area of Odisha’s Gajapati district.

The giant squirrel was rescued from the roadside dhaba of the 50-year-old accused, identified as Bharat Bisoi, sources said on Monday.

The giant squirrel is an endangered species under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which grants it protection from poaching, killing and trading.

A team of forest personnel conducted a raid on the dhaba and found the adult giant squirrel in a cage, a forest official said. The animal was rescued and the dhaba owner arrested.

The health condition of the animal is being examined, It is likely to be sent to Nandankanan zoo in Bhubaneswar later.

The dhaba owner had reportedly purchased the animal from another person around two months ago and kept it as a pet. He probably did not realise its consequences.

Investigation is underway to ascertain the source from where the animal was purchased, the sources added.

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