Bhubaneswar: The crocodile population in Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha’s Kendrapada district has gone up to 1,649, three more than last year’s 1,646, a week-long census revealed Friday.
The crocodiles sighted in the water bodies of the park during the census include four reptiles measuring more than 20 feet, a senior park official told IANS.
The counting of the crocodiles was conducted Dec 30-Jan 4, involving forest officials, environmentalists, activists of non-government organisations and local residents.
Bhitarkanika, about 170 km from here, which is also a wildlife sanctuary, found a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2006 with a 23-foot saltwater crocodile listed as the largest in the world.
It is also known for mangrove forests and its many species of migratory birds.
The sanctuary is widely known as the world’s largest rookery of Olive Ridley sea turtles.