Over 50 Crocodiles rescued by Wildlife SOS and GSPCA in flood-hit Vadodara

Updated: Aug 25, 2019, 20:22 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav |

So far, the Wildlife SOS and GSPCA teams have successfully rescued 52 crocodiles and have released them into the Vishwamitri River, which is their natural habitat

The 16-foot long crocodile which was rescued from Jalaramnagar slums in Karelibaug
The 16-foot long crocodile which was rescued from Jalaramnagar slums in Karelibaug

Post the recent flash floods in Gujrat, the number of rescue calls for crocodiles in Vadodra have been on the rise. This monsoon season, NGO Wildlife SOS and the Gujarat Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA) have been attending to multiple reptile emergency calls. Crocodiles appearing on flooded streets and showing up in human settlements has become a common occurrence due to the recent flash floods in Vadodara. With support from the Forest Department, the Wildlife SOS and GSPCA have successfully rescued 52 crocodiles across the city.

According to a press release issued to the media, multiple reptilian sightings in the city have been keeping the Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit team on their toes. The NGO's 24-hour rescue helpline (+91-9825011117) which is jointly run with the GSPCA has been ringing off-the-hook with concerned people alerting the team to rescue snakes, monitor lizards and even crocodiles across the flood-hit district of Vadodara this year. With the water levels currently receding, such instances have escalated over the past few weeks.

Croc Six
A 6-foot-long crocodile was rescued by Wildlife SOS, GSPCA and Forest Department from Dumad village

It may be noted that a massive 16-foot-long crocodile was rescued by the Wildlife SOS-GSPCA team and the Forest Department. The reptile has become a cause of concern for occupants of Jalaramnagar slums in Karelibaug. The narrow lanes of the area have made the rescue operation quite challenging but after carefully strategising a plan, the team was successful in safely luring the crocodile into a trap cage. This was the largest crocodile to be rescued by the NGO in Vadodara.

Raj Bhavsar, Wildlife SOS Project Coordinator and Honorary Secretary GSPCA said, "So far, we have responded to 52 crocodile related calls! It is heartening to see a rise in the number of people making an informed decision of calling our helpline instead of taking matters into their own hands which generally ends in casualties on either side. We request the public to keep supporting our cause and immediately report any such situations to our team." 

Croc River Bed
The four-foot-long crocodile was rescued from the premises of a house located close to the Vishwamitri River
 

In another incident, the team rushed to the aid of a six-foot-long crocodile that was spotted in Dumad village, followed by the rescue of a four-foot-long crocodile from the premises of a house located close to the Vishwamitri River.

Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder and CEO of Wildlife SOS said, "Vishwamitri River that flows through the heart of Vadodara city is home to over 200 crocodiles. During the monsoon season, the river overflows which usually leads to the migration of crocodiles to smaller ponds, surrounding human settlements. Crocodiles are met with fear and hostility leading to incidents of human conflict with this species. Such actions are dangerous and can even lead to untoward accidents unless carried out by professionals. We are happy to assist the forest department and the state government in mitigating such conflict situations."

What the Forest Department has to say?

Nidhi Dave, Range Forest Officer, Vadodara said, "As the water levels are receding, the crocodiles are migrating towards other water bodies. All of the rescued crocodiles have been released back into the Vishwamitri River, which is their natural habitat."

Since 2010, the Wildlife SOS has been working in collaboration with the Gujarat Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (GSPCA) to rescue wildlife trapped in urban localities, particularly snakes and crocodiles in Gujarat.

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