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
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.