Kendrapara: A 48-year-old man was killed in an attack by a crocodile in Kendrapara district Wednesday, officials said. Harihar Swain was taking bath in the Baitarani river in Khola village when the crocodile pounced upon him, they said.
His mutilated body was later fished out from the river by fire brigade personnel, they added. This is the third death in crocodile attacks at riverside villages on the periphery of Bhitarkanika National Park in the last one-and-a-half month, officials said.
In the last one year, at least eight people were killed and several others maimed in attacks by salt-water crocodiles in the area, they said. The deceased’s family will be given Rs 4 lakh compensation as per a government scheme on such deaths, officials said.
Lethal assault by the reptiles and consequent retaliatory attack by humans has become a regular feature in this region of the state, a forest official said.
Most often, the mishaps happen when the victims intrude into the habitat of the wildlife, for illegal fishing, poaching, firewood collection and honey collection, he said.
The conflict and consequent loss of human lives are most recorded during the monsoon and winter months — the nesting season of the estuarine crocodiles.
The salt-water crocodile population in Bhitarkanika has increased manifold from 96 in 1975 to 1,768 at present, the official said.