Male Ghadiyal released in Rapti

CHITWAN: A male Ghadiyal crocodile, which was brought to Chitwan National Park from Bardiya, was released today in Rapti River that flows through the Park.

The crocodile was brought to Chitwan from under the bridge of Babai river, along the east-west highway, within Bardiya National Park, according to Chief Conservation Officer Ram Chandra Kandel of Chitwan National Park.

"The crocodile has been released at Khoriya that lies one kilometre east of Golaghat, which is the meeting point of Rapti and Narayani," said Kandel. The crocodile, tentatively 35 years old, is 416 centimetres long and weighs about 800 kg.

The only male crocodile that had been useful in breeding in Narayani and Rapti rivers died after being trapped in a net in Amaltari of Narayani in May 2017.

According to the statistics of 2016, there are 166 crocodiles in these two rivers. Since 1982, 566 crocodiles have been left in Rapti and 399 in Narayani from breeding centres, informed Assistant Conservation Officer at the CNP Ved Bahadur Khadka.

There are 31 crocodiles in Babai and one in Karnali as per the statistics of 2016. Till date 110 crocodiles have been left in Babai and 41 in Karnali after being raised in the breeding centre at Kasara of Chitwan National Park. Crocodiles have been left in various rivers of the country after breeding them at Kasara.

Before bringing the crocodile from Babai, the team at the national park had also searched for male crocodiles in Karnali. The team had gone to Babai after being unable to find a crocodile in there. Kandel said that male crocodile had been spotted in the Indian region.

He also stated that there have been discussions with DFO Gyan Prakash Singh of Katarniya Ghat Tiger Reserve in India to bring in male crocodiles from India to Nepal. Kandel said that there have been positive talks about bringing in the crocodile by fulfilling diplomatic protocol.

There is only one male crocodile in the breeding centre at Kasara at present. There was one more crocodile that had died in February. "One male crocodile has to be brought in at the breeding centre, and one each has to be brought in for Rapti and Narayani," said Kandel.