Kendrapara (Odisha): A six-foot-long saltwater crocodile that had strayed into a village pond in Kendrapara district of Odisha, was captured alive by forest personnel much to the relief of panicked local residents.
"The croc was captured after an hour long exercise from a pond at Ramachandi village under Mahakalpada police station jurisdiction with locals assisting the forest personnel in caging the itinerant croc," said Divisional Forest Officer, Manoj Kumar Mahapatra.
The reptile had strayed into the village during the high tide period as creeks and water-bodies with the village is connected with crocodile-infested Gobari rivulet.
The croc was spotted by locals who were taking bath in pond.
Panic gripped the village. The locals later informed the forest department of the straying reptile.
The crocodile had made the pond its home. It used to come out during the day to feast on small animals.
Officials said that the long crocodile was captured by spreading out fishing net in the pond. Utmost care was taken to ensure that no harm is caused to it. It took about an hour to catch the animal. Later it was released in the nearby Gobari river, said an official.
As this period of the year is the breeding season, these reptiles turn up to land areas for laying eggs. The croc might have strayed into the village for breeding, officials said.
The DFO said that all possible attempts are being made to ensure the safety of people along the sanctuary side villages. "Alert has been sounded in the villagers asking the people to remain extra-cautious while venturing into water-bodies," he said.