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Ramakanta Biswas

Kendrapara: Bhitarkanika National Park will remain out of bounds for tourists and visitors from December 26 to January 4 for annual census of estuarine crocodiles.

The head count of the crocodiles will be carried out under the supervision of wildlife personnel, crocodile researchers and experts.

Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Rajnagar Mangrove (forest) Bikash Ranjan Dash said, “Every year we carry out the census of estuarine crocodiles between December and January. This year too, tourists will be barred from entering the national park between December 26 and January 4 to prevent noise pollution during the head count of the reptiles as sound pollution following the human activity distracts the wildlife and poses hindrances for foolproof census drive."

Asked why the park is closed during a peak time when the visitors’ footfall is high, Dash said, “The census date is generally fixed on the recommendation of experts."

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