22 crocodile rescued in Vadodara in 1 week

22 crocodile rescued in Vadodara in 1 week

Reuters file photo for representation

At least 22 crocodiles were rescued from residential areas in Vadodara city and district in the last one week, a Gujarat forest department official said on Thursday.

These reptiles had ventured into residential areas and after water levels in the Vishwamitri river and its tributary Dhadhar, their homes, rose due to heavy rains and floodwaters entered the city and parts of the district last week.

The Vishwamitri flows through the middle of the city and joins the Dhadhar river which passes through Vadodara district.

After the floodwaters receded, the forest department rescued the crocodiles and released them in the rivers.

"Fifteen crocodiles were rescued from several localities of the city on Wednesday and Thursday last," said Nidhi Dave, range forest officer, Vadodara.

Seven more crocodiles were rescued from the city as well as Wahgodiya and Padra towns and Itola village in Vadodara district in the last five days after water level there receded, she said.

One of them was rescued on Thursday from an artificial pond in Navlakhi Compound located in the middle of the city, Dave said.

Two more crocodiles have been spotted in the pond, she said, adding, "We are trying to rescue them too."

Talking to PTI, P M Patel, an engineer of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC), said the civic body had dug up the pond last year to allow people to immerse Ganesh idols.

The pond, located near the Vishwamitri river, got filled to the brim during the last week's heavy rains.

Wildlife experts said the crocodiles may have entered the artificial pond during heavy rains.

The VMC will ensure the remaining crocodiles are rescued from the pond before the next month's Ganesh festival, the engineer said.

Kiran Patel, sarpanch of Itola, said three crocodiles were spotted in floodwaters in the village and one them has been rescued.

Volunteers of Vadodara-based Wildlife Rescue Trust are making efforts to catch the other two reptiles, he said.

It is believed the Vishwamitri and Dhadhar rivers are home to more than 250 crocodiles.

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