A man went missing in river Brahmani in Pattamundai area of Kendrapara district after a crocodile reportedly dragged him into the deep water during a wash on Friday.
The incident took place while Basant Kumar Parida, a cattle-rearer of Srirampur village near Pattamundai was grazing cattle near the river. He had gone to the water body for a wash after attending nature’s call, an eyewitness said.
“I was grazing cattle nearby while he went to the river for a wash. The crocodile suddenly emerged out of knee-length water, clamped its jaws and dragged him into the water swiftly,” said a fellow herder of Basant.
“Hearing his scream, I immediately ran to the spot but could not rescue him as the reptile had already yanked him into the deep water by the time I reached there. Locals also rushed to the spot after I raised an alarm. We informed about the incident to the fire services personnel soon,” he added.
Till the last report came in, the fire personnel with the help of locals and forest department staff were searching river water to trace the missing person.
Locals of the Brahmani riverside villages in Pattamundai and Rajkanika blocks of Kendrapara often allege that they spot crocodiles in the region mostly due to presence of Bhitarkanika National park in the vicinity.
Forest personnel are of the view that people are exposing themselves to the reptile attacks by carelessly entering rivers, creeks and other water bodies near Bhitarkanika and its nearby areas which are infested with crocodiles.
But locals are mostly found disregarding the precautionary warnings given by the forest department.
Several riverside spots have been identified as danger zones because of frequent sighting of reptiles in these places.
The forest officials have also erected barricades with alert signages in several spots near Bhitarkanika to warn people not to venture outside the permission zones to prevent man-crocodile conflicts.