Female albino crocodile at Bhitarkanika to attract tourists

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Kendrapada, Aug 12 (UNI) The Bhitarkanika forest officials have planned to keep the four-year-old female albino crocodile inside the artificial hatchery of Dangamala Crocodile Breeding centre to attract tourists and researchers.

The DFO of Rajnagar Mangrove forest Division would draw the attention of the senior officials of the State Forest Department and Chief Wildlife Warden to give a green signal to the proposal.

If the reptile was kept in a pen, it would definitely help the researchers study a lot about the behaviour of the albino and attract the tourists to visit the Dangmal, an eco tourism spot in Orissa.

Official sources said special care had been taken by the forest officials to protect the 3.50-ft-long juvenile female albino crocodile at Dangamala, next to a 33-year-old albino crocodile, 'Gori', who had become a major attraction for the tourists and researchers visiting Bhitarkanika national Park .

The juvenile albino was hatched at the artificial hatchery at Dangamala from the eggs collected by forest officials four years back from the wild.

The 6.9-ft-old female captive albino, Gori, one of the rare crocodiles in Asia, was one of the treasure troves of Bhitarkanika National Park and the forest official felt the juvenile albino would be an ideal replacement for Gori to attract more tourists.

The 33-year-old female captive albino ''Gori''came to limelight for its typical behavioural instinct and deteriorating health condition over the years.

The plan to release her in the wild of Bhitarkanika National Park in the winter season had been abandoned due to bad health condition.

'Gori' shot to fame in the 1980s after shunning mates. The forest officials had tried several times in the past for the mating of the albino crocodile by releasing wild male crocodile in the pen.

But on all the occasions she had turned violent and injured the male partner, forcing the forest officials to drop the idea of mating of the rare albino crocodile with any wild.

Forest official sources claimed that at least six white Estuarine crocodile were sighted inside the creeks, inlets and nullahs of Bhitarkanika river system this year during the nesting season of crocodiles.

UNI XC-DP SJC RD 1814

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