Bhubaneswar, Aug 1 (IANS) The Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha’s Kendrapara district reopened for tourists on Tuesday after remaining closed for three months for the breeding season of estuarine crocodiles.
The national park was closed for visitors from May 1 to July 31 in view of the breeding season of the saltwater crocodiles.
“A three-month long prohibition on the entry of tourists and visitors to the wetland site had been enforced as the reptiles turn violent during the season and attack human for their interference in breeding,” said Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) Forest Division, Bimal Prasanna Acharya.
He said the closure of the park for the short period aims to ensure the safety of humans and provide a congenial environment for the crocodiles to breed.
Kanika Forest Ranger Askhya Kumar Nayak said as many as 82 nests of the estuarine crocodile were sighted by the forest personnel this year within the Rajnagar Mangrove (forest) and Wildlife Division.
While 73 nests were sighted at Kanika Wildlife Range, six nests were sighted under Rajnagar wildlife Range and three nests at Gahirmatha wildlife Range, he added.
A nearly 145 sq km stretch of the national park, with its vast expanse of mangrove cover and wetland spots, is an ideal eco-tourism destination for camping and trekking.