Bhitarkanika National Park to Remain Closed for Nine Days

The Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha would remain closed for the general public for nine days during this month. All the tourists and nature lovers would have to wait as it’s time for the annual headcount of the estuarine crocodiles.

As per officials, the national park will remain closed from January 15 to 23 for the swift annual drill of conducting the census. Already, around 22 teams have been deployed to count the crocodiles in the creeks, nullahs, and rivers within the park as well as the nearby areas.

The park is kept off the limits of the general public to conduct a smooth and human interference-free census operation. Any form of human activity could come in the way of the meticulous census of these reptiles, said the divisional forest officer, Bhitarkanika Mangrove (wildlife) Forest Division, Bikash Ranjan Dash.

Bhitarkanika houses 70 percent of India’s estuarine crocodile or saltwater crocodiles, a species whose conservation began way back in 1975. The number of saltwater crocodiles, a species not found in any other river in Odisha, counts to approximately 1757 in the Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary.

Over the years, a systematic rise in the number of these reptiles has been seen due to various anti-hunting and anti-poaching laws, along with constant conservation efforts by the forest department.

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