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Crocodile population in Bhitarkanika rises to 1,742

Kendrapara: The population of estuarine or saltwater crocodiles in Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district has increased to 1,742 from 1,698. Last year, the official crocodile count was 1,698.

The census was carried out on Saturday and Sunday. Around 80 officials were engaged for the crocodile counting at Dangamala within the park for the purpose. Forest guards, environmentalists and locals were also engaged to help enumerators in the process.

The enumerators counted the reptiles by sighting those in various creeks and rivers during day and night. The crocodiles are classified into different categories like yearlings, juveniles, sub-adults and adults as per age gradation.

Meanwhile, the week-long ban on the entry of tourists into Bhitarkanika in view of annual census of the salt water crocodiles will be withdrawn on Tuesday.

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