Bhitarkanika bans tourists as crocodiles nest
Bhubaneswar: A two-and-half-month ban on the entry of tourists and visitors to the Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha was imposed Wednesday as the crocodile nesting season was underway, an official said.
The park, in the coastal Kendrapada district, about 170 km from here, is home to about 1,600 saltwater crocodiles.
Crocodiles tend to become violent during the nesting and breeding, a park official told IANS.
Crocodiles mate between February and April and nesting takes place in May. A female crocodile, on an average, lays about 45 eggs.
Hatchlings emerge from the eggs after 70-80 days. The mother crocodile actively guards the nest, usually prepared with mangrove twigs, leaves and mud.
Bhitarkanika, which is also a wild life sanctuary, found a mention in the Guinness World Records in 2006 with a 23-foot saltwater crocodile listed as the largest in the world. It is widely known as the world's largest rookery of Olive Ridley sea turtles.