Rare white crocodiles bred in Sunderbans
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Last Updated: Sunday, May 02, 2010, 11:27
Sunderbans: Two rare white crocodiles, born at the Bhagabatpur crocodile breeding park, are catching the fancy of tourists visiting the delta region here.

"There are two white crocodiles in the park now. These crocodiles, born without any characteristic difference with other crocodiles, are growing in the park for release in the wild later," Divisional Forest Officer, South 24-Pargans district, Shubhendu Bandyopadhyay told a news agency.

The estuarine crocodiles, also found in Bhitarkanika in Orissa, were born yellowish with black dots on the skin, like other crocodiles, but the yellow tone faded away with time to a paper-white colour.

These white crocodiles are the same as "Gori", the albino crocodile known for her aggressive behaviour to partners in the Bhitarkanika, he said, adding, one of the two-foot-long reptiles is nearly one year-old and the other is three-years old.

"More visitors will be able to see the white crocodiles once the construction of a 17 km road under PMGSY is completed and the bridge at Gangadharpur finished," BDO of Pathar Pratima block Achintya Hazra said.

Set up to boost estuarine crocodile population, 410 crocodiles reared in captivity at Bhagabatpur have been released since 1982 in the estuaries of Sundarbans Tiger Reserve and deltas of Kalas, Bhagabatpur, Dhunchi, Baghmara, Haldi and Mayadwip, Bandyopadhyay said.

After first captive breeding of crocodiles in Bangkok in 1960, crocodiles were born in captivity in Japan, Jakarta, Singapore and Bhagabatpur in 1982.

Born to six female and three male parents, an average of 25 young crocodiles born here are released annually after four years of rearing when they grow more than four feet in length and 10 kg in weight, Forest Range officer Kshitish Chandra Gayen said.

The hatchlings are tied with red and yellow tapes in the tail to make fishermen realise that they are born in captivity and should be released if caught in nets, officials said.


First Published: Sunday, May 02, 2010, 11:27

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