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Photographer spots rare animal in Arbail Ghat

Correspondent



RARE APPEARANCE: The pangolin as capatured by Pandurang Harikant's lens.

KARWAR: Pandurang Harikant, a nature photographer of the town, captured the image of a pangolin mounting a tree in the forests near Sunksal village in Arbail Ghat two days ago.

"The animal saw me, climbed the tree with its sharp claws rolling its tail around the branch for a while, probably in fear. Then it slowly moved down before vanishing into the wild," he told The Hindu .

Pangolin, which is a mammal of the order Pholidota, is an endangered species. It is rarely found in the Western Ghats region of Uttara Kannada district. Pangolin is 30 to 90 cm in length, exclusive of its tail, which is as long as the body. It weighs five to 27 Kg. What makes it distinct is that its body is covered with overlapping brownish scales composed of cemented hair.

Interestingly, its head is short and conical with thick lidded eyes. The legs are short and its five-toed feet are armed with sharp claws.

Pangolin feeds mainly on termites. It also eats ants and other insects. They are also called scaled anteaters. Pangolin locates its prey by smell. It has the tendency of rolling up presenting erected scales as a means of defence. They live alone or in pairs in burrows. Indian pangolins belong to "Manis Longicaudata" family.

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