Odisha's Bhitarkanika National Park to remain closed from May 1
Even local forest dwellers who illegally enter the forest areas to collect honey and wood, have been prohibited from entering the space.
KENDRAPARA: The Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district will remain closed for three months starting May 1 in view of mating and nesting season of saltwater crocodiles. This was notified by the Forest Department to keep tourists and visitors away from the sanctuary during the breeding time, said Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of the park, JD Pati on Saturday.
The ban will be in force till July 31. Since the sound of the mechanised boats carrying tourists and forest officials disturbs the surroundings and makes the reptiles violent, restrictions have been imposed at Bhitarkanika, Dangamala and Ragadapati forest blocks under Bhitarkanika, said the officer.
Even local forest dwellers who illegally enter the forest areas to collect honey and wood, have been prohibited from entering the space. The female reptiles lay eggs and guard those till the emergence of hatchlings.
Forest guards have been instructed to keep vigil on the eggs as wild animals like snakes, wild boars, fishing cats destroy the eggs. The guards will also keep a watch on the movement of mother crocodiles, Pati added. Last year, 84 saltwater crocodile nesting sites were spotted at the creeks, nullahs and river system in the park area.