Crocs attack humans as rivers go dry

Crocs attack humans as rivers go dry

With rivers and reservoirs going dry in the twin districts of Bijapur-Bagalkot, aquatic animals have been badly affected. 

There have been instances of crocodiles entering villages on the banks of the rivers. The reptiles have attacked humans and taken away cattle, sheep and goats from the villages, creating panic among residents. 

The major lifelines of the region Krishna, Malaprabha, Bhima and Doni rivers have gone barren, leading to a dip in the water level in the major reservoirs of Almatti and Narayanpur. 

The reptiles have now started taking shelter in the agriculture fields and searching for prey in the villages. 

A total of 27 crocodiles were found in sugarcane fields in Bagalkot district alone from April to July.

A #total of 11 crocodiles were found in Kudalasangama, Kengal, Ganjihal, Chikkamalagavi, Chittaragi and Nandanur, while seven crocodiles each had entered B K Budni and Gulagala Jambagi in Mudhol taluk. 

One crocodile each had entered Anadinni in Bagalkot taluk and Sabbalahunasi of Badami taluk. Seven crocodiles were found in the villages of Jamkhandi taluk.

A crocodile attacked Rudrappa Sangappa Kumbara, 53, at his house in Nandanur village near Kudalasangama. Venkappa Pundalika, a farmer, was attacked in his sugarcane field at B K Budni village of Mudhol taluk. Four crocodiles were found in the village in a span of just one month. The reptiles preyed on 10 sheep at Sabbalahunasi village near Guledagudda. 

Forest officials captured 14 crocodiles in the villages on the banks of rivers in the district. They were let into the backwaters of the Almatti dam. 

But with the water level in the reservoir hitting rock bottom, the crocodiles have ventured out again into the sugarcane fields or the villages in search of food and secure habitation.

This is not the first time that crocodiles have been found in the villages of Bagalkot district. Forty of them had come out of water bodies in 2011. A tourist was attacked and killed by a crocodile at the Kudalasangama bus stand in July, 2008.

Funds crunch for crocodile park

The Bagalkot Deputy Conservator of Forests, K V Nayak, told Deccan Herald that the Forest department had not formulated a plan for the construction of a crocodile park, as it required large amount of funds. He said the matter would be brought to the notice of the higher-ups in the department and the government. 

Nayak said people on the banks of the rivers should take all precautions, as it was common for the reptiles to enter villages due to decreasing level of water in the rivers.

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