Gu­jarat's bur­geon­ing crocodilopo­lis

Vado­dara plans a park for croc­o­diles to keep their num­bers and at­tacks on hu­mans in check

Down to Earth - - WILDLIFE - RA­JAT GHAI |

Dres­i­dents of URING MON­SOONS, the industrial city of Vado­dara face a strange prob­lem. As the rains swell the Vish­wamitri river, which passes through the heart of the city, croc­o­diles pop up at the most un­likely places—roads, rail tracks and parks. Trav­el­ling through the sewer line, baby croc­o­diles have some­times even ap­peared in bath­rooms.

Vado­dara is an is­land of croc­o­diles, says B C Choud­hury,con­ser­va­tion­ist and for­mer sci­en­tist at the Wildlife In­sti­tute of In­dia, Dehradun. The state­ment is not with­out ba­sis.The Gu­jarat dis­trict,with a pop­u­la­tion of over 3.6 mil­lion, is home to hun­dreds of mug­ger croc­o­diles ( Crocody­lus palus­tris), a species found through­out the sub­con­ti­nent. And their num­bers are ris­ing.With the spike in crocodile num­bers, cases of at­tacks on hu­mans have also in­creased in the past two decades.

“I have been col­lect­ing data on crocodile at­tacks in Gu­jarat since 1960. Till 2013,

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