A pangolin rescued from a quarantine centre in Odisha's Cuttack district on Tuesday will be tested for coronavirus by the forest department, news agency Asian News International (ANI) quoted forest officials as saying. According to ANI, the pangolin had been rescued from a centre in the Athagarh Forest Range in the district.
Several studies have suggested that a Malayan pangolin could be the missing link in the transmission chain of SARS-CoV2 virus from bats to humans.
A recent paper published in the science journal Nature by researchers from South China Agricultural University claimed that the coronavirus which causes COVID-19 could even be a recombination of viruses found in pangolins and bats.
A widely-trafficked mammal, pangolins are prized for their skin.
Pangolins found in India come in two varieties, the Indian and the Chinese. Both of them are endangered and found in foothills of the Himalayas, north-eastern as well as southern states.