KENDRAPARA: Half-eaten body of a 57-year-old farmer, who was dragged away by a saltwater crocodile, was found in Baitarani river at Bankarakua village on Friday. The victim, identified as Banamali Mohanty, belonged to Bajarapur village.
Banamali is the fourth victim of crocodile attacks in the villages adjoining Bhitarkanika National Park in the last one year.Locals, forest guards and fire brigade personnel launched a search on Thursday after Banamali was attacked by the crocodile while taking bath. They found his body near the river bank on Friday.
Attacks by crocodiles have been reported recently in Aul, Rajnagar and Mahakalapada. Salt water crocodiles are straying from the water bodies in Bhitarkanika into the water bodies of adjoining areas. This has become worrisome as a large number of villagers in the riverine areas eke out their livelihood by fishing. “They are spending sleepless nights due to crocodile attacks,” said Subharnshu Sutar of Rajkanika.
“The Forest department will provide compensation of `four lakh to the family members of the victim after inquiry, said Bimal Prasanna Acharya, Divisional Forest Officer.
Crocodile carcass found
The carcass of a nine-foot salt water crocodile was found on Friday in Baitarani river at Mulasahi village. This is the third such incident of unnatural death of a reptile in Bhitarkanika National Park in the last four months.