Mumbai: Alert Powai locals help save stray crocodile

The sub-adult reptile was spotted along the promenade on Saturday evening; it has been released back into its habitat

People pelted stones at the crocodile upon first spotting it
People pelted stones at the crocodile upon first spotting it

On Saturday a sub-adult crocodile was treated to cruelty and kindness after it lost its way along the Powai Lake. While some visitors along the promenade pelted stones at the animal, volunteers of NGO SAARP rescued it with the help of two alert locals.

The crocodile was taken to the Thane SPCA for medical tests after being rescued. Pics/Harshal P Khandave
The crocodile was taken to the Thane SPCA for medical tests after being rescued. Pics/Harshal P Khandave

“On Saturday at around 9 pm, I got a call from men named Sharma and Salim informing that a crocodile was spotted near Powai Lake. Some locals from nearby areas were trying to hurt the crocodile, thinking that it is dangerous.

Due to the alertness shown by Salim and Sharma, we immediately reached the spot and informed the forest department about the incident,” wildlife activist Harshal P Khandave who is also associated with NGO SARRP, told mid-day.

Also Read: Mumbai: Two baby crocodiles rescued, search on for mother

People tried to hurt the crocodile by throwing stones towards it, but Sharma and Salim immediately covered the animal under a vegetable crate and saved him from getting injured.

“After reaching the spot, our volunteers Harshal Khandve, Omkar Daherkar, Vishal Surve and I rescued the crocodile and immediately took it to the Mumbai Divisional Forest Office at Thane. At around 12-12.30 am we handed over the crocodile to Thane FD,” said Santosh Shinde, president of NGO SARRP.

The reptile’s medical examination was done on Sunday at Thane SPCA and he was declared medically fit for being released.

The team of SAARP volunteers and the staff from the Mumbai territorial range of Thane FD released the crocodile back in its natural habitat.

Watch video: 'Lost' crocodile rescued from Bhandup in 5-hour operation

In the past, incident of crocodile sightings along the Powai Lake promenade have been common and had even increased fears of human-crocodile conflict.

The BMC along with Thane FD had even installed banners at few places along the promenade requesting people to maintain a safe distance if they spot a crocodile.

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