December 15, 2020 : Crocodiles raised at the crocodile breeding center in Kasara of Chitwan National Park have been released into the river. Every year at this time crocodiles are released in the rivers. According to Ved Bahadur Khadka, Assistant Conservation Officer of the park, 10 crocodiles were released in the Rapti River on Monday.
The crocodiles were released into the river near Kasara, the park’s main office. He informed that the target is to release 100 crocodiles in the river this fiscal year. All those crocodiles are being released in Rapti. Last year, 50 crocodiles were released into the river.
In Rapti and Narayani rivers, crocodile eggs are collected and taken to breeding centers. The eggs are hatched by the crocodiles at the breeding center. After five years, the child has been left in the river. The currently released crocodile is six years old.
After the center was established in 1978, the baby crocodile was raised and released into the river in 1981. One thousand 525 crocodiles have been released in various rivers including those raised in the breeding center. The highest number of 845 crocodiles has been released in Rapti. 399 crocodiles have been released in Narayani, 35 in Kaligandaki, 95 in Saptakoshi, 41 in Karnali and 110 in Babai.
According to the latest census, there are 118 crocodiles in Rapti and 101 in Narayani. Chief Conservation Officer of the National Park, Annath Baral, said that the number of crocodiles in the river of Nepal has not increased as the crocodiles released in the river are moving towards India. The crocodiles that went to India from the Gandak Barrage in Triveni have a problem as it is difficult to return.
The endangered crocodile is also in trouble due to human encroachment. Crocodiles die every year by being caught in fishing nets. He said that the increase in the number of crocodiles was hampered due to lack of food and wastewater.
Baral complained that it was difficult to save the crocodiles as the aquatic ecosystem (water ecosystem) in the Misida River was deteriorating due to the waste generated by the riverside towns and industries. He said that arbitrary excavation of stones, ballast and sand from the river has also disrupted the crocodile habitat.