Kendrapara: The carcass of a 12-foot-long female salt water crocodile has been found in Bhitarkanika National Park near Timtara creek in Odisha with officials suspecting that it has been killed.
The body, which was retrieved yesterday, bore injury mark on lower abdomen region, which leads us to believe that it might have been killed by local people. However, the exact cause leading to the reptile’s death could be ascertained after the autopsy report comes out, said Forest Ranger Officer, Dhruba Charan Pradhan.
The crocodile had strayed into human settlement areas and had reportedly devoured domesticated animals. This might have angered the locals to kill the animal which is accorded ‘protected’ status under wildlife legal provisions, said sources.
A case under Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 has been registered and the reptile’s body has been sent for post-mortem, said officials.
In all probability, it had fallen prey to unlawful fishing activity in prohibited water-bodies. The crocodile might have got entangled in fishing nets. Later, the fishermen might have killed it. As the animal body bore marks of injury, it could be conclusively inferred that it was a case of unnatural death, added officials.