Crocodile Breeding Centre reeling under acute financial crisis

CHITWAN: The Crocodile Breeding Centre in Kasara of Chitwan district is at stake after the Chitwan National Park curtailed budget to it.

According to Assistant Conservation Officer at the Centre, Bed Bahadur Khadka, the Centre requires a budget of around Rs 5 million annually. But the National Park has allocated only Rs 1 million this fiscal year, causing financial crunch for the Centre to operate.

Khadka shared that it annually takes around 18,000 kg fish to feed around 600 crocodiles at the Centre.

The Centre opened in 1978 runs in the strength of 11 staff who bring crocodile eggs from various rivers to the Centre for hatching. The hatchlings are released into various big rivers, including Karnali, Koshi and Rapti once they grow up.

Chief Conservation Officer at the Chitwan National Park, Kamaljung Kunwar, admitted that adequate budget is not being allocated for the conservation of crocodiles.

He blamed failure of policy-makers to acknowledge importance of these amphibian reptiles to the river ecosystem.