Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kendrapara, Jan 12:
The Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha’s Kendrapara district marked a rise in estuarine crocodiles this year.
This year’s census of saltwater crocodiles released on Wednesday put the figure at 1682 whereas the last year’s number stood at 1671.
The crocodile headcount exercise went on from January 2 to 8 resulting rise in 11 crocodiles in the national park’s water bodies.
As many as 125 persons divided into 27 groups comprising crocodile experts and wildlife personnel undertook the week long operation.
While 17 teams were deployed in the counting process in Bhitarkanika range, seven teams in Rajnagar, two teams in Mahakalapada and one team in Gahirmatha range were conducting the census.
Under the leadership of Rajnagar DFO Bimal Prasanna Acharya, crocodile expert Dr. Sudhakar Kar and Dr. Siba Prasad Parida including few others to name were supervising the operation.
According to an official report, 1682 crocodiles were spotted in the wildlife sanctuary including 608 hatchlings, 334 yearlings, 266 juveniles, 172 sub-adults and rest were adults from eight feet long to 20 feet long including three of above 20 feet long.
The major highlights of census findings of this year is that at least 21 giant sized crocodiles between 100 to 120-year-old were spotted during the annual enumeration operation.