Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kendrapada, Aug 1:
The Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha’s Kendrapada district, which was closed for three months since May 1, reopened today.
The park was closed for the last three months in view of the breeding of estuarine crocodiles. During the period, visit to the Bhitarkanika, Dangamala and Ragadapati forest blocks inside the park premises was prohibited.
“Three battery operated vehicles have been introduced this year for physically challenged visitors. Quality lodging facilities have been arranged at Dangamala and Habalikhati,” said Bimal Prasanna Acharya, DFO, Rajnagar Wildlife Division.
The saltwater crocodiles tend to very aggressive during breeding season and attack people without provocation. Hence, considering the safety of the tourists, the Forest department had closed the park till July 31, he had said.
Notably, the park is home to as many as 1671 estuarine crocodiles. Every year, the forest officials collect eggs from the nesting sites for incubation under semi-natural conditions. For the conservation of the endangered species, the hatchlings are reared for a period of three years and then released into the wild.