Mumbai: Two baby crocodiles rescued, search on for mother

In less than a fortnight after SGNP authorities sounded an alert following crocodile sighting at a picnic spot inside the park, officials rescued two hatchlings from the Dahisar river stretch passing through the tourism zone in the last two days. Moreover, an initiative has been launched to trap and relocate their mother as well. The operation will continue for the next couple of days.

Also Read: SGNP on alert after crocodile is spotted near picnic spot

The hatchlings that were rescued in the last two days. Pics/Nimesh Dave
The hatchlings that were rescued in the last two days. Pics/Nimesh Dave

Commenting on the search and rescue operation, Range Forest Officer (RFO) Rajendra Pawar said, “Our team is doing its best to find the mother, so that it can be fitted with a microchip and safely released into the Tulsi lake. We rescued a couple of hatchlings in the last two days and successfully released them into the lake.”

One of the rescued hatchlings (circled) being released into Tulsi lake last evening
One of the rescued hatchlings (circled) being released into Tulsi lake last evening

Another officer said the operation to locate and rescue the over four-feet-long mother crocodile commenced yesterday around 9.30 am and is being executed by a group of over 10 officers. Rajendra Pawar, RFO of Krishnagiri Upvan (the park’s tourism zone), veterinary officer Dr Shailesh Pethe, superintendent of Tiger and Lion Safari Shailesh Deore, among others, are monitoring the operation which commenced after one of the park officers spotted the adult crocodile near the boating area.

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“Examination revealed that the hatchlings were fit. We embedded microchips in their bodies to track their movement and record it in case we find them in the future. Both the hatchlings were released into the Tulsi lake last evening,” said veterinary officer Dr Pethe.

Problematic tourists
The officer said the biggest challenge they faced was controlling tourists, who venture into the water despite reading signboards installed near water bodies warning them about the possible presence of a crocodile. “We would like to appeal to the tourists visiting the park to stay away from streams and other water bodies, as it can lead to human-crocodile conflict,” the officer added. Other officers said they have spotted four to five hatchlings near the Mugger dam, which will be rescued, fitted with microchips and released into the Tulsi lake.

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