CNP Breeding Centre welcomes 211 Ghariyals

CHITWAN: The Crocodile Breeding Centre based at Kasara in Chitwan National Park has welcomed 211 Ghariyals, crocodilian native to Indian Sub-continent, after the eggs in the centre and eggs collected earlier from Rapti and Narayani river banks hatched, recently.

118 Ghariyals hatched from 235 eggs collected from seven nests in Rapti river bank. Likewise, 46 Ghariyals emerged out of 82 eggs brought to the centre from Narayani river bank. Meanwhile, 47 crocodilians hatched from eggs produced by the long-nosed crocodile at the centre, informed CNP Assistant Conservation Officer, Bedan Bahadur Khadka.

According to the centre, out of the total aquatic crocodilians hatched at the centre, only 50 per cent live to witness adulthood. At present, there are 520 crocodiles in the breeding centre.

As part of conservation of the endangered species, the breeding centre which was established in 1978, collects eggs from nests in Rapti-Narayani river system and facilitates hatching if the nests face threats from the rivers. After the eggs hatch, CNP releases the aquatic crocodilian back in the river.

This year, CNP has released 119 crocodiles in Rapti river, while a total of 1,365 crocodiles have been set free in major rivers such as Rapti, Koshi, Narayani among others, thus far.

On the contrary, the number of crocodiles has rapidly gone down over the years as the aquatic predators face threats from pollution and unsustainable mining practices. Moreover, crocodiles bred and released by the centre, swim to India in search of prey, never to return back.