16-year-old, bathing in river, killed by crocodile in Odisha

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Kendrapara, Jul 27 (PTI) A 16-year-old boy was killed by a crocodile in Odishas Kendrapara district, officials said on Monday.

The incident happened on Sunday when the boy, Rudra Narayan Behera, was taking bath in the Kharasrota river in Parimukundpur village, they said.

The crocodile came out of the river and pounced on him, a forest official said.

The mutilated body was later fished out by fire brigade personnel, he said.

His family will be given Rs 4 lakh compensation as per the state governments scheme related to the death of a person due to attack by protected wild animals, he added.

Lethal assault by crocodiles and consequent retaliatory attack by human beings have become a regular affair in this part of the state, the forest official said.

About a dozen people and hordes of domestic animals lose their lives each year as a result of the conflicts, he said.

These are most frequent during the monsoon and winter months, the nesting season of the estuarine crocodiles, the forest official said.

It has been observed that adult crocodiles, under normal circumstances, do not leave their territory to chase human beings on land, unlike terrestrial predatory animals such as tigers.

Most often, the mishaps occur when the victims intrude into their habitat, for illegal fishing, poaching, fuelwood collection and honey collection, he said.

The crocodiles, in the wake of depleted food reserves in the river system, also stray into nearby rivulets and nullahs.

The number of saltwater crocodiles, the species which are not found in any other river system in Odisha, stood at 1,757, as per the census conducted in January in the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary. PTI COR SKN SBN SOM SOM