Nine crocodiles rescued in a month from Chiplun
Wildlife experts say it is a common phenomenon for the reptiles to wash into cities due to flooding of rivers
Consistent rainfall in the Konkan belt of Maharashtra has been giving some sleepless nights to the forest authorities in the region. The forest department, in the last one month, has rescued a total of nine full-grown Indian Marsh Crocodiles from the residential areas of Chiplun city alone. The crocodiles seem to have washed into the cities due to flooding of rivers.
Chiplun and Mahad cities of Raigad district have received heavy rainfall in the last few weeks resulting in the flooding of Savitri, Kal and Gandhari rivers along with small streams and nullahs.
Range Forest Officer from Chiplun, Sachin Nilakh told mid-day that apart from flooding, "another likely reason for the crocodiles to wash into the city is butcher shop owners throwing their meat waste into nullahs, thus attracting crocodiles." The rescued crocodiles underwent medical examination after which they were released back into their natural habitat.
Ganesh Mehendale of Mahad-based Organisation for Wild Life Studies (OWLS), said, "It's a common monsoon phenomenon as the crocodiles often undertake local migration during this time and when it floods, some of them become disoriented and thus reach the cities."
Mehendale undertook a crocodilian survey last year along a 40-km long stretch of the Savitri riverine system. His team found that there was no human-crocodile conflict in Mahad despite the presence of so many crocodiles. The 40-km stretch will be part of the first phase of the survey and will cover the area from Mahad to Bankot, where the river meets the Arabian Sea. A total of 95 villages have been identified for this purpose.
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