Kendrapara: The Bhitarkanika National Park (BNP) will remain closed for tourists and visitors for nine days starting from January 15 up to January 23 in order to facilitate the annual crocodile census here.
According to an official source, the national park is to remain out of bounds for the annual census of estuarine crocodiles. As many as 22 teams have been constituted to count the crocodiles in the creeks, nullahs and rivers within the park and its nearby areas.
Visitors’ interference could distract the meticulous census of reptiles to be carried out by a team comprising of forest officials and wildlife experts. That is why a curb on tourist footfall was imposed to facilitate the counting activities, DFO of Bhitarkanika Mangrove (Wildlife) Forest Division Bikash Ranjan Dash expressed.
Notably, Bhitarkanika is said to be accommodating over 70 per cent of the total estuarine crocodile (saltwater crocodile) count in the country. Conservation of the crocodiles was started in 1975.