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Carcass of albino crocodile retrieved in Odisha

The animal is accorded ‘protected’ status under wildlife legal provisions.

Statesman News Service | Bhubaneswar |

Carcass of a five-feet-long juvenile albino estuarine crocodile was retrieved today from near Petchela riverbed in Bhitarkanika national park in Odisha’s Kendrapara district.

It’s an adult albino species. The reptile might have died by asphyxiation after getting entangled in a fishing net. It is also suspected that it lost its life after fighting with another crocodile.

The carcass has been sent for post-mortem. Exact cause leading to the reptile’s death could be ascertained after the autopsy report comes out, said forest officials, said Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) Forest Division, Bikash Chandra Dash.

The animal is accorded ‘protected’ status under wildlife legal provisions. As the croc spotted dead comes under scheduled and protected animals, a case under Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 has been registered, he added.

The union government and United Nations Development Programme had launched the estuarine conservation programme in 1975 when the population of salt-water crocodiles in Bhitarkanika area was estimated to be 95, including 34 adults. Now, the population has risen 1768 as per the latest census report released in January.

The national park continues to be one of the best natural abodes for estuarine crocodiles housing 70% of India’s estuarine crocodile or saltwater crocodiles.