Bhitarkanika National Park reopens

Bhubaneswar: Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha’s Kendrapara district reopened on Sunday after the conclusion of the annual census of estuarine crocodiles.

The national park was closed for tourists and visitors from January 15 to January 23 to facilitate the annual crocodile census, said a forest official.

Bhitarkanika is said to have 70 per cent of India’s estuarine or saltwater crocodiles, the conservation of which was started in 1975.

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan visited Bhitarkanika along with officials of the state government.

“Dense mangrove forests, exciting trekking trails, birds chirping in colonies, creeks and canals teeming with wildlife – Bhitarkanika National Park spoils you for choices. An off-the-beaten track, a visit to Bhitarkanika is a must during this time of the year,” tweeted Pradhan.

“The second largest mangrove ecosystem in the country, Bhitarkanika is often referred as ‘Mini Amazon’ in India. Home to saltwater crocodiles, the park also is the only habitat of the rare and endangered albino estuarine crocodiles,” he said.

(IANS)

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