Agra, May 26 (IANS) A 6-year-old crocodile has been caught alive from a pond near here, and later released in the River Chambal, after it had caused panic and fear among locals for a week.
The specialists of the NGO Wildlife SOS had laid a trap at Amar Singh ka Pura village in Pinahat, 70 km from Agra, but found difficult to lure the young crocodile. However, on Friday the crocodile finally emerged and got trapped in the cage.
The villagers had informed the UP Forest department officials who in turn alerted the experts.
River Chambal presently has become a favourite breeding area for mugger crocodiles and gharials.
Baiju Raj M.V., Director Conservation Projects, Wildlife SOS said, “The crocodile is a juvenile and is approximately 6-year-old. As we wanted to avoid capturing the reptile by force and causing it any harm, we set up a trap cage with bait. It is reassuring to see the crocodile return to a more suitable habitat where it can thrive.”
Ashok Sharma, Range Forest Officer (Pinahat) said, “The rescue was a success and we are glad to see the crocodile return to its natural habitat. A second crocodile has allegedly been sighted by the villagers so measures are being taken to set up another trap cage in the area.”
Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder & CEO Wildlife SOS said, “Crocodiles are met with fear and hostility leading to incidents of human conflict with this species. Such actions are dangerous and can even lead to untoward accidents unless carried out by professionals. We are happy to assist the forest department and the state government in mitigating man-animal conflict situations.”
The Mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) also called the Indian or marsh crocodile is found throughout the Indian subcontinent.
Crocodiles have been under the growing threat of habitat destruction and illegal poaching for skin, meat and the use of body parts in medicine. This species is listed ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Reed List and is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.