Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 2:
A large gharial 10-feet-long and weighing 250 kilo was captured from the Puri main canal at Rudrapur near the Odisha capital yesterday.
Thousands of people gathered on either side of the canal to see this large predator getting captured.
Apprehensive that there could be more of the species in the canal water, villagers have stopped using the canal they normally use for bathing and collecting drinking water.
These types of crocodiles are usually seen in the Satkosia gorge sanctuary of the state. Experts speculate that it may have come to this canal via Mundli or the siphon from Kuakhai River.
The crocodile was first seen at about 4 PM of March 31 in the canal near Pratap Nagari under Cuttack Sadar police limits. However, it was not be seen there the next day causing panic among people who use the canal for their daily needs.
It was seen again yesterday near Rudrapur area under Balianta police limits following which the locals called up the Balianta police and Phulnakhara forest office.
While forest department officials ignored the issue earlier, Forest Conservator Sarat Kumar Sahu and Forester Rabi Narayan Nayak, along with Balianta police, used a fishnet to capture the gharial yesterday fearing public backlash.
The locals also cooperated with the officials in the rescue operation, where the face and legs of the gharial was tied first and then it was taken to Nakhra veterinary for a health check up.
Later, it was handed over to officials of Satkosia forest range division. It would later be rehabilitated at Tikarpada.