New Delhi: A young marsh crocodile, which was rescued from smugglers some months ago, has been released into the wild.
The reptile was released into the Chambal river falling in the National Chambal Sanctuary by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department along with a Delhi-based NGO on October 27.
"I am very happy with the release of this crocodile facilitated by NGO Wildlife SOS. It is one of nature`s wonders that another creature was sent back to its natural habitat," Rupak De, Chief Wildlife Warden UP, said.
"Chambal river is a natural habitat for crocodiles. Releasing the crocodile is giving back its freedom. The animal was in good health," N K Janoo, Deputy Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) said.
According to a statement of the NGO, initially the Wildlife Court in Delhi issued orders for the crocodile to be kept with the NGO.
However, when the Chambal Deputy Conservator of Forests and the UP Chief Wildlife Warden gave the permission to release the crocodile, Wildlife SOS and the Delhi Wildlife Department requested the Delhi Wildlife Court to permit the reptile to be released in the Chambal river, the statement said.
The crocodile was on October 27 transported in a special container to the banks of the river in the presence of Delhi Wildlife Inspector and other officials.
Based on a tip-off, the crocodile was seized by the Delhi Wildlife Department and Wildlife SOS from wildlife smugglers at the Delhi railway station.
The smugglers had come to Delhi from Karnataka to sell the crocodile to a Chinese trader for use in medicinal preparations.