Rare white crocodiles bred in Sunderbans

Last Updated: Sunday, May 2, 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

"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 2, 2010 - 11:27
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