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Crocodiles released to Rapti River

Chitwan, Dec 15

The crocodiles reared at Crocodile Breeding Centre of Kasara in Chitwan National Park (CNP) have been released to the Rapti River. Every year, the baby crocodiles brought up at breeding centre are released to the river.

Assistant Conservation Officer at CNP, Bed Bahadur Khadka, said 10 crocodiles were released to the river on Monday. It has been aimed to induct 100 crocodiles in the river this fiscal year. Last year, only 50 were released. The crocodile eggs laid in the Rapti and Narayani Rivers are collected and brought to the breeding centre and get hatched by the adult crocodiles. After five years, they are released.

This time, the six year old crocodiles were inducted to the river. The Crocodile Breeding Centre was established in 1978. So far, 1,525 such reptiles have been taken to the river from the centre. Most of them- 845 are in the Rapti River. Other rivers to get the reptiles are Narayani, Kaligandaki, Saptakoshi, Karnali and Babai. The recent crocodile census has put the number at 118 in Rapti and at 101 in Narayani. Chief Conservation Officer at CNP, Ananath Baral, informed that number of these reptiles was not increased as some go to the Indian rivers, returning never to Nepal. The crocodiles entering India via Gandak Barrage hardly return Nepal, he added. It is also said the human encroachment is also posing risk to the ghariyals.

Some ghariyals die being trapped in the net used for fishing. Pollution of river is equally detrimental to the aquatic animals. The urbanization on the riverbank is producing much waste, risking the aquatic ecosystem. Moreover, illegal excavation of river production has direct bearing on the life of aquatic animals, Baral stressed.

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