A 38-year-old male crocodile, belonging to Marsh breed, was found dead at Ranganathittu bird sanctuary here on Monday. It is said to be the first such incident in the past two decades.
The carcass of the crocodile was found floating under a tree on the west side of the sanctuary by a forest guard. Veterinarian Dr Shivashankar, who conducted post-mortem, said, the crocodile must have died due to infection in the abdomen.
He said the reptile must have died three days ago as there was no food particles found in its stomach apart from 100 ml fluid. The inner parts of the body had turned red in colour. Range forest officer Shivappa said, the crocodile must have died on Sunday and weighed 200 kg.
This is the first time a crocodile death has been reported from Ranganathittu, he said. There are more than 50 crocodiles of Marsh breed. eggs that fall from the trees, fish and birds are their food. Marsh breed crocodiles have a life span of 50 years, but some have lived up to 100 years, Shivappa said.
A team of veterinarians, headed by deputy director for animal husbandry Dr Ravikumar, conducted post-mortem. Later, the carcass was buried on the river bank.