Odisha giant Croc Skeleton to be preserved: Forest Officials

Orissa wildlife authorities have decided to ptoreserve the skeletal remains of a giant male crocodile measuring 18.5ft in Bhitarkanika.

The skeleton was found near a creek of the Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district of Orissa last month raising curiosity among the people and authorities have decided to move it to the interpretation centre of the museum of the park.

Akshay Kumar Nayak, local forest officer said, “It was discovered that it had died of age-related illness. Its physique was buried close to the crocodile breeding and rearing middle. The skeletal remains would be later pulled collectively for preservation.”

The skeletal remians would be taken care of by herpetologists, he added.Bhitarkanika has reputation for long crocs measuring 22 ft, the world’s largest on record according to the Guinness Book.

Photo courtesy: Greenpeace.com

The national park houses 1665 salt water crocodiles as per the census cnducted this year. So far, three giant crocodiles measuring more than 20 ft have been found in the area, which are never found in other river systems in Orisaa.

Bhitarkanika, one of the Ramsar Wetland of international significance since August 2002, it is second to Chiika lake to be given the Ramsar status for the unique features that
its ecosystem possesses.

Bhitarkanika park also harbours one of the largest populations of endangered saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) in India and is globally unique in that 10 percent of the adults exceed 6 metres in length. Nearly 700 saltwater crocodiles inhabit the rivers and creeks of Bhitarkanika today, according to researchers.

Bhitarkanika was declared as a wildlife sanctuary primarily to protect its endangered saltwater crocodile population. In 1975 an integrated Government of India and FAO/UNDP project was launched to protect and restock the saltwater crocodile population in Bhitarkanika with H. R. Bustard as its Technical
Advisor and a rearing centre was established at Dangamal for the purpose.

With this inititative, the population of estuarine crocodile in the wild is estimated to be nearly 700 as per records and fishing has been completely stopped in Bhitarkanika River and associated creeks.

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