Chitwan, March 8
Chitwan National Park released 24 ghariyal crocodiles into the Rapti River in Kasara in the presence of the local Bote, Majhi, Musahar, Kumal and other community members who rely on the rivers for their living.
The ghariyals were brought in sealed boxes from the Kasara-based crocodile breeding centre and handed over to people who solely depend upon the river for their survival. They later released the rare species in the river.
“People were handed over the ghariyal to release in the river to inculcate in them the feeling of ownership.
So, they will feel it their responsibility to protect the rare species,” said CNP Assistant Conservation Officer Nurendra Aryal.
Earlier, a total of 48 ghariyals were released from Sauraha, Patihani and Jagatpur areas in the same way a few days ago. CNP is preparing to release as many as 48 ghariyals in the same manner on Friday and Saturday.
Around 30,000 people from Majhi, Bote, Musahar and Kumar community live in the vicinity of the rivers along the buffer-zone area in Chitwan.
As per the latest census, a total of 166 ghariyals were found in the Rapti and Narayani rivers. As many as 566 ghariyals were releasedin the Rapti and 399 in the Narayani rivers till the end of 2017. As per data, as many as 1,246 ghariyals have been released in various rivers across the country since 1992. Though the rare species were also released in Kaligandaki, Koshi, Karnali and Babai rivers before, the practice was stopped lately due to the lack of protection.
A version of this article appears in print on March 09, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.