Odisha’s Bhitarkanika National Park reopens for tourists after crocodile survey

Kendrapara: The Bhitarkanika National Park in the Kendrapara district of Odisha reopened today for tourists after completion of crocodile population survey.

The wildlife sanctuary was closed for tourists due to headcount of the crocodiles. The survey was conducted from January 9 to 11.

According to reports, the population of estuarine crocodiles is on a marginal rise at Bhitarkanika National Park. As many as 1793 crocodiles were sighted in and outside the water bodies of Rajanagar Mangrove Forest Division (Wildlife).

During headcount drive last year, the number of crocodiles at Bhitarkanika National Park was 1784. This year, the number rose to only nine.

Official source said that total 569 hatchlings, 388 yearlings, 325 juveniles, 166 sub-adults and 345 adult crocodiles were spotted as per the status survey report this January.

Total 22 teams under supervision of wildlife expert Dr Sudharkar Kar were engaged for counting the crocodiles this year. The crocodile experts and researchers found three estuarine crocodiles each measuring more than 20 ft and 14 crocodiles between 16 and 18 ft long in Kanika range.

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