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Bhitarkanika thrown open for tourists

Pattamundai: After a three-month break for the breeding season of saltwater crocodiles, Bhitarkanika National Park here in Kendrapara district reopened for the visitors on Tuesday.

The prohibition on entry of tourists to the wetland sites had been enforced from May 1 to July 31 in view of the breeding season of the estuarine crocodiles, said Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) Forest Division, Bimal Prasanna Acharya.

Ban on tourists’ entry was necessitated as the reptiles turn violent during the season and attack the human for their interference in breeding.

The aim is to ensure the safety of humans and provide congenial environs for the breeding crocodiles, he added.

It has been made mandatory for visitors to submit proof of identity for entry into the national park.

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 crocodiles along with resident and migrant avian species and huge varieties of mangrove species.

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