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8-foot-long crocodile captured, people relieved

An eight-foot-long female salt-water crocodile was captured from a pond in a remote village in Odisha’s Kendrapara district after the reptile got entangled in the fishing net spread out by the local inland fishermen.

After spotting the reptile webbed in the net, locals including fishermen got panicked and informed the forest officials. Later we captured it alive. The crocodile is safe and no injury was caused to it while it was captured by skilled wildlife staffs of the forest department, said Mahakalpada forest range officer, Bijoy Kumar Parida.

The croc had strayed into the water-body in Balipata village from salt-water creeks of Bhitarkanika. It would have left for its original place of habitation sooner or the later. In all likelihood, the crocodile would have been carried away by high tide waters of the creeks connected to Bhitarkanika system.

We have roped the reptile after netting it. Later it will be released in the wild in Bhitarkanika river system, he said. 

With people mostly living on fishing activities left panic-stricken following the intrusion of crocodiles, the forest department had earlier sounded an alert asking people to stay away from the water bodies.

“We are relieved a lot as the crocodile has been warded off from the creek. We were frightened sighting the croc in the water body” said a local Bhanu Mandal.

The water-bodies traversing through Mahakalpada areas owe its connectivity to saltwater river system of Bhitarkanika national park. The water contents of creeks in Mahakalpada are marked by salinity. That’s why; the animals might have strayed into the said water-bodies during high tide.

The forest department is on the job to ensure that the water bodies in human habitation areas are free from straying crocodiles. If the crocodiles are re-sighted, the department would engage its service groups of skilled fishermen from Bhitarkanika to chase away the animals to their original habitats, said Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (Forest) Division, Bimal Prasanna Acharya.

The crocs used to stray in search of food and would leave the place for their original habitat within a few days as per their natural instinct, said the wildlife personnel.

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