Estuarine crocodile killed

Kendrapara: In the latest bout of man-animal conflict, an 8-foot-long estuarine crocodile was hacked to death in Mahakalpada forest range in Kendrapara district.
 
Forest officials spotted the body of the slain croc near a water-body in Kochila village of Barakanda gram panchayat today.
 
The body bore multiple injury marks and it was most probably caught in the net, said forest officials.
 
The croc had strayed into human settlement areas and had reportedly devoured domesticated animals. This angered the locals to kill the animal which is accorded protected status under wildlife legal provisions, they said.
 
"As estuarine croc spotted dead comes under scheduled and protected animal, a case under Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 has been registered. The reptile's body has been sent for post-mortem," said an officer of Mahakalpada forest range.
 
In all probability, the croc had fallen prey to unlawful fishing activity in prohibited water-bodies. The croc 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, said officials.
 
In recent past, salt-water crocodiles have often trespassed into water-bodies in and around the sanctuary-side human settlements triggering panic in villagers.
 
For the past one year, at least nine adult and sub-adult salt-water crocodiles have met tragic end after acts of trespass into places of human habitations.
 
The species are itinerant in nature and stray into adjoining water-bodies because of its increase in hyper-salinity contents. After a temporary sojourn, they leave for their permanent habitation corridors within the Bhitarkanika, according to forest officials.