Week-long ban on entry of visitors into Bhitarkanika Sanctuary from Jan 3

Kendrapara: The world famous Bhitarkanika Wild Sanctuary will remain closed for visitors from January 3 to 10 in view of annual census of estuarine crocodiles, said Bimal Prasanna Acharya, Rajnagar divisional forest officer today.

Restrictions on visitors are imposed to prevent noise pollution during the counting of reptiles in Bhitarkanika, added Acharya.

A team led by expert Sudhakar Kar has been formed for counting of the reptiles, the DFO informed.

As per the 2017 census, 1,671 estuarine crocodiles were reported to be living along the Bhitarkanika’s water bodies.

The 145-sq.km Bhitarkanika National Park, with its vast expanse of mangrove cover and wetland spots, is an ideal ecotourism destination for camping, trekking and picnics.

The major attractions are its saltwater or estuarine crocodiles along with resident and migrant avian species and huge varieties of mangrove species.