Guj:Man risks his life to 'assure safety' to crocodile; booked

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Ahmedabad, Jan 25 (PTI) A 50-year-old man has been detained for 'harassing' a crocodile in Vadodara district of Gujarat after a video of the incident, which occurred on the banks of Karjan lake, showing him 'assuring' the reptile of 'safety' from harm went viral, an official said on Monday.

During his questioning, Pankaj Patel told officials that he touched the crocodile after goddess Maa Khodiyar asked him to do so in his dream.

The goddess is popularly depicted as sitting on a crocodile.

'Upon learning about the incident from social media, we booked Pankaj Patel under relevant sections of the Wildlife Protection Act and detained him for questioning,' said Deputy Conservator of Forest, Vadodara, Kartik Maharaja.

Referring to the video clip doing rounds on social media, he said the crocodile was resting on the banks of Karajn lake.

In the video, a man, lated identified as Patel, can be seen sitting on the wall of the lake while a big crocodile was seen basking in the Sun just a few feet away from him.

Patel, who looked disoriented, was seen 'assuring' the crocodile that he will go to any extent to protect it from people. He even warned the onlookers against harming or disturbing the reptile.

Ignoring repeated warnings by the people watching the drama from a distance, Patel is seen jumping off the wall and going close to the crocodile.

While praising Maa Khodiyar, Patel touched the reptile more than once and paid hisrespects.

Luckily, the crocodile did not harm Patel and went back into the lake. PTI PJT NSK NSK