Bhubaneswar, Dec 23 (PTI) A pangolin was rescued by a joint team of police and forest personnel in Rayagada district of Odisha on Sunday and five persons were arrested in this connection, police said.

Acting on an information, the joint team intercepted a car near a bus stand in Gunupur and rescued the endangered animal which was being illegally transported, Inspector in-Charge of Gunupur Police Station, Rabindra Kumar Patra, said.

Preliminary inquiry showed that the five persons were transporting the pangolin to Bhubaneswar from Rayagada district, he said.

After a thorough investigation, the police will be able to establish whether the arrested persons, including two women, were operating independently or have links with any bigger wildlife smuggling racket, the IIC said.

Eariler this month, a major wildlife racket was busted in Malkangiri district where a pangolin was rescued and seven people were arrested.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.