Crocodile carcass found in Bhitarkanika

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Kendrapara (Odisha), Jun 6 (PTI) The carcass of a five-feet long saltwater crocodile was retrieved from Bhitarkanika National Park area in Odisha's Kendrapara district on Thursday, an official said.

The albino estuarine crocodile might have died by asphyxiation after getting entangled in a fishing net. It is also suspected that it lost its life after fighting with another crocodile, an official said.

The carcass, found near a riverbed, has been sent for post-mortem, Rajnagar Mangrove (Wildlife) Divisional Forest Officer Bikash Chandra Dash said.

The reptile is accorded 'protected' status under the wildlife legal provisions and a case under the Wildlife Protection Act has been registered, Dash said.

The Union government and the United Nations Development Programme had launched the estuarine conservation programme in 1975 when the population of the saltwater crocodiles in Bhitarkanika area was estimated to be 95.

Now, the population has risen 1,768, according to the census report released in January, 2021, he said.

The national park continues to be one of the best natural abodes for estuarine crocodiles, housing 70 per cent of the species. PTI CORR HMB AAM MM MM