Now fishermen will chase away crocs

Kendrapara: In a bid to tackle the straying of crocodiles into villages in and around the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary here, the forest department has deployed trained fishermen to chase the reptiles away, officials said today.

"Crocs mostly stray into human settlements during the breeding season triggering man-crocodile conflict," Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (Wildlife) Forest Division, Manoj Kumar Mahapatra, said.

"Last year we experimented by deploying skilled groups on contractual pay roll. It was a success in bringing down the intensity of man-crocodile conflict. The service groups have been redeployed to keep the crocodiles at bay," he said. This year crocodiles have killed two persons and injured two others. The reptiles were also killed in retaliatory attacks by humans.