Giant flying squirrel found in Jharkhand


Ranchi : An endangered giant flying squirrel has been found in Jharkhand, arousing the curiosity of forest officials and a bit of concern among tribals.

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Villagers of the Musabini block in East Singhbhum district found the squirrel three days ago. Initially the villagers and forest officials were not able to identify the animal. Then the forest department approached wildlife experts who Thursday said it was the giant flying squirrel.

The animal resembles a rat and even a cat. Its eyes shine like an owl's. It climbs tress and its sound is like a cat's.

"The animal is known as a giant flying squirrel. It is an endangered species. It is found in some parts of Assam, the Saranda jungles of Jharkhand and in Jammu and Kashmir," said A.K. Mishra, the district forest official (DFO) of East Singhbhum.

The squirrel is being been kept at the DFO's office.

"This type of squirrel normally roams at night. Such squirrels live by making holes in trees and eating leaves and debris."

"We will free it after studying the animal. Other squirrels must be searching for it and we will free it in the place it was found," said Mishra.

The squirrel has become the talk of town. Local tribals call it "arawal".

"There is a myth that if this animal calls the name of a particular person three times, he or she will die," said Ramesh Munda, a resident of Musabini block.