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Crocodile numbers increased in Bhitarkanika National Park

The population of the salt-water crocodiles has increased this year according to annual reptile census conducted in the water bodies of the Bhitarkanika National Park and nearby areas.

Forest officials counted 1665 salt-water crocodiles whereas last year, they sighted 1644 of the reptiles.

The crocodiles sighted in the park’s water bodies during the census include 511 hatchlings, 380 yearlings, 317 juveniles, 149 sub-adults, 305 adults and three giant crocodiles measuring more than 20 feet, said Kedar Swain, DFO of Rajnagar Wildlife Division.

“We have also sighted around 12 albino crocodiles in the water bodies of Bhitarkanika during the reptile census,” said Sudhakar Kar, a noted herpetologist and former crocodile reasearch officer of the forest and wildlife department of the state. He led the 25 team members during the reptile census work.

The park, also a wildlife sanctuary, in Kendrapada district was closed for public from 1st January to 12 Jan 2015 for the annual census.

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