A 55-year-old fisherwoman has died following an attack by a crocodile in close vicinity of Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha’s Kendrapara district.
An estuarine crocodile pounced on the woman while she was fishing in a creek at Vekta village under the jurisdiction of Rajnagar police station on Saturday. The half-eaten body of the woman was retrieved from Patasala river on Sunday, officials said. The incident occurred outside the limits of the national park. The woman’s family will be given Rs 4 lakh under the compensation payment scheme, the Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) Forest Division, Bikash Chandra Dash, said.
According to this year’s reptile census, the Bhitarkanika National Park and adjoining Mahanadi deltaic region are home to 1,768 saltwater crocodiles.
Lethal assault by the reptiles and consequent retaliatory attack by people have become a regular feature in this part of the state, forest officials said.
The conflict and consequent loss of human lives are most frequently recorded during the monsoon and winter months, the nesting season of the estuarine crocodiles.
Often, the mishaps occur when the victims intrude into animal habitat, for illegal fishing, poaching, wood collection and honey collection, they said. The animals, in the wake of depleted food reserves in the river system, stray into nearby rivulets and nullahs.
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