Berhampur, Sep 12 (PTI) Forest officials rescued a mugger, an endangered crocodile species from a paddy field in Odisha's Ganjam district on Saturday.
The reptile was rescued at Talasingi village under Digapahandi forest range. The animal was released into the Ghodahada reservoir, one of the major habitats for the mugger, near Digapahandi, said divisional forest officer (DFO) Berhampur Amlan Nayak.
The farmers of the area spotted it while they were working in the paddy field and informed the forest staff. They immediately rushed to the spot and rescued around six-foot long mugger.
The mugger was an adult and the age of it was expected to be around three to four years, he said.
The mugger, however, did not harm any person, said the DFO.
Nayak said the mugger was suspected to stray into the area from Ghodahada when the dam water was released through the canal. 'We have released it in safe condition in Ghodahanda reservoir,' he said.
In November last year, the fishermen had also detected at least two muggers from different ponds at Gada Samantarapur and Mamudiha villages near Digapahandi, sources said.
The number of the crocodile species in and around the reservoir was counted at 65 in the last census conducted in January 2020. While 46 muggers had been found in around five- sq-km reservoir, other 21 had been located in the nearby water bodies, sources said.
Mugger is one of the three crocodile species found in the state. The other crocodile species are gharial and salt- water crocodile or estuarine crocodile. The muggers in Ghodahada swim safely as the local fishermen do not harm them, even though they use the water body for the fishing purpose, PTI COR AAM RG RG