KENDRAPARA: For the first time, forest officials found a baby gharial in the river system of Kendrapara district on Sunday, August 29, 2021. With this, Kendrapara now has all three species of the reptile - gharial, mugger and saltwater crocodile.
The baby gharial was caught in the net of a fisherman in Paika river. Earlier in October 2016, forest officials had rescued a live 12 feet mugger from Luna river. As such, Bhitarkanika National Park in the district is home to saltwater crocodiles. Divisional forest officer (DFO) JD Pati said, “We are delighted that Kendrapara now has all three species of crocodiles in its river systems.”
The DFO further informed that in August 2018, carcass of a nine feet long gharial was found in Luna river near Jamapada village. But a live gharial was sighted for the first time in the district’s river system on Sunday. The mugger is a critically endangered species.