Six-year-old girl confronts crocodile to save schoolmate

Kendrapara: A six-year-old girl Tiki Dalai from a remote village of Kendrapara, Odisha, on Tuesday, displayed exemplary courage to save her friend from claws of death after an estuarine crocodile attacked her.

The survivor Basanti Dalai,  a standard one student of a government-run primary school in Bankuala village, is undergoing treatment at a government-run hospital.  She has sustained multiple wounds on her hand and thigh, but is stated to be out of danger.

Both the girls were taking bath in the village pond when a crocodile leaped from the water and attacked Basanti.  However, Tiki immediately picked up a bamboo stick and dealt a blow on the crocodile’s head. The reptile, jolted by the sudden attack, left the girl to slip into the water.

“The attack was so sudden that I had little time to react. The stick that was lying near the pond saved my friend from dying”, Tiki, who also studies in the same school, narrated.

Though the attack occurred outside the Bhitarkanika National park limits, the state forest department would bear the cost of treatment and also award compensation to the family of the injured as per revised rules, said Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) forest division, Bimal Prasanna Acharya.

“The forest department has initiated a series of measures to save humans and domesticated animals’ from preying crocs. Over a two dozen riverside spots were identified as danger zones because of frequent sighting of reptiles in these places. Warning has been issued to people to avoid these troubled water zones. The bathing ghats which have become vulnerable due to croc intrusion have been barricaded”, said officials.

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