20 years on, captive crocodile Gori waits for a mate

Lonely soul
Last Updated : 03 January 2010, 17:00 IST

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The 34-year-old rare croc has been chosen to be the mascot of the mega youth event which will be attended by more than four thousand delegates from across the country.
Gori was born inside the Dangamal crocodile breeding and research centre in an artificial method in 1975 from a crocodile egg collected from a creek inside the Bhitarakanika sanctuary. The scientists at the centre named the female crocodile as Gori for its ivory white complexion. According to experts, such whitish croc is extremely rare in the world today.

When Gori attained her adulthood in 1985, the officials and scientists at the crocodile breeding centre created several opportunities for her to find a male partner and mate with him in the creeks and rivers inside the Bhitarakanika sanctuary but in vain. She rejected all her ‘desi’ (home grown) partners. Subsequently, the authorities at the crocodile research centre had flown in a male crocodile from Thailand to mate with Gori.

Interestingly, the foreign croc too failed to impress the queen of Bhitarakanika. In fact, while rejecting her foreign partner, Gori had a massive fight with him. While the male croc sustained injuries in the fight, Gori too lost one of her eyes.

Since then the white croc is waiting for a suitable partner inside her closely protected water pond at the crocodile breeding and research centre. In 2007, there was a proposal to release Gori permanently in one of the rivers or creeks inside the Orissa sanctuary.

Charming Rajiv Gandhi

Despite her unhappy and turbulent personal life, Gori had always charmed both ordinary as well as VIP visitors and tourists from across the globe. One among them was one-time youth icon and former prime minister, the late Rajiv Gandhi.

During one of his Orissa visits when he was the prime minister, Gandhi expressed his keenness to meet Gori which prompted the then Orissa government to fly the rare croc in a special helicopter to the Nandankanan zoological park near here.  If old state forest department employees are to be believed, the former prime minister was “stunned” when he saw the rare white crocodile.

Published 03 January 2010, 17:00 IST

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