Gujarat's burgeoning crocodilopolis
Vadodara plans a park for crocodiles to keep their numbers and attacks on humans in check
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,