Bhitarkanika National Park to Close from Jan 3 for Annual Census

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A Saltwater Crocodile basking near a creek in Bhitarkanika (Photo: IANS)

Bhubaneswar: Bhitarkanika National Park will be closed to public for about a week from Wednesday for the annual census of estuarine crocodiles, a park official said Sunday.

A team led by expert Sudhakar Kar will carry out the census of crocodiles.

The park will be closed a few days ahead of the census operation to carry out preliminary works, and to ensure the birds and crocodiles do not get disturbed.

The park in the coastal Kendrapada district, about 170 km from here, is known for mangrove forests and its many species of migratory birds. Besides, it is widely known as the world’s largest rookery of Olive Ridley sea turtles.

At least 1,671 crocodiles were sighted in the park during the last census conducted about a year ago.