Nesting Season: Tourist Entry Banned in Bhitarkanika National Park Till July 31

0

Bhubaneswar: The Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha will remain closed for tourists for three months that is from May 1 due to the nesting season of crocodiles.

The park in coastal Kendrapada district, about 170 km from here, is home to 70 per cent of India’s estuarine or saltwater crocodiles.

Since crocodiles tend to become violent during the nesting season, a notification for closure of the park for tourists has been issued by Bimal Prasanna Acharya, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) Forest Division. The ban would continue till July 31.

Crocodiles mate between February and April and nesting takes place in May. A female crocodile, on an average, lays about 45 eggs.

Hatchlings emerge from the eggs after 70-80 days. The mother crocodile actively guards the nest, usually prepared with mangrove twigs, leaves and mud.

Bhitarkanika, which is also a wild life sanctuary, found a mention in the Guinness World Records in 2006 with a 23-foot saltwater crocodile listed as the largest in the world. It is widely known as the world’s largest rookery of Olive Ridley sea turtles.