Bhubaneswar: The number of crocodiles increased by 44 compared to last year’s count in Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district, a forest official said on Monday.
This year 1742 crocodiles were spotted in the national park as against 1698 in last year’s census.
The census of estuarine or saltwater crocodiles was carried out along the water-bodies of Mahanadi deltaic region in and around the Bhitarkanika National Park between Thursday and Monday.
The enumerators sighted 619 hatchlings, 347 yearlings, 273 juveniles, 178 sub-adults and 325 adults, according to the census report.
Of these reptiles, 12 white or albino crocs, four giant male crocodiles measuring more than 20 feet long, 43 large-size crocodiles that are 14 to 19 feet long were found, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) Forest Division, Bimal Prasanna Acharya said.
The giants included a 21 feet long croc which finds a pride of place in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest living crocodile, he said.
The latest census figure of these reptiles, which was released by forest department on Monday, has come out with an encouraging trend of rising in the number of estuarine crocodiles.