I was riding back from Karwar to Bangalore, when, 30 Kms before Davangere, on NH4 (Now NH48), at around 8:30 a.m., I saw a man standing on the roadside staring at something. At first I passed it off as a log of wood, but as I got closer, I realized that it was the carcass of a pangolin (Manis crassicaudata). The animal had visibly damaged scales on its right shoulders and a bleeding right paw. One of its claws had almost come off and the others were partially hanging, indicating that it was hit by a vehicle.
It appeared that the pangolin had already crossed a service road and climbed the elevated highway (about 20 feet high) to cross over on the other side. Such incidents clearly indicate the need for better road planning in mitigating wildlife fatalities.
Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'
Pangolins are already severely impacted by the illegal trade in their scales. Habitat destruction and being run over by vehicles while crossing roads are additional hazards. The Indian pangolin is classified as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.