HUBBALLI: The forest department has established caution boards along Kali River in Dandeli to safeguard visitors from crocodile attacks.
Three persons died in crocodile attacks in the river in Dandeli this year leading to the forest department paying increased attention to this particular patch of river.
The officials said that the boards will raise awareness among tourists, devotees and local public in general about the SoPs to be followed while they are near the crocodile-infested river stretch. The boards will tell visitors to refrain from feeding the reptiles, stop taking children anywhere near, avoid swimming and also tell them to be alert while walking during night hours.
"Besides tourists, several devotees come to Kali river to offer prayers. Be it final rites, or rituals involving immerson while visiting a temple that is along the Kali river, many times they risk their lives by going too close to the water or sometimes they even step inside the river for a short distance without knowing the current and threat of crocodiles.
"The boards will alert the people about possible crocodile presence in the area," said an official from Haliyal Forest Division.
For many years, the Kali river that passes through Dandeli city has had a good number of crocodiles. When the water level recedes, the reptiles can be seen sitting on the rocks and along the shore basking in the sun.
Rahul Bavaji, a wildlife activist from Dandeli, pointed out that for many years there were no such cases of crocodile attacks in Dandeli.
"Both people who reside along the river and crocodiles lived in harmony. But recent developmental works along the river such as water lifting, creation of jackwells have destroyed the habitat of crocodiles. Many tourists ignore the warning sign and venture inside the river," he pointed out.