Rajnagar: The crocodile research and breeding centre at Dangamala inside the Bhitarkanika national park in Kendrapara district is a tourist draw, but a threeyear-old albino crocodile has now been the star attraction for tourists, a report said.
With the tourism season in, tourists are thronging the crocodile breeding centre to take a glimpse of the white crocodile. The number of white crocodiles in Bhitarkanika touched three.
Gori and Malli, two white crocodiles of Bhitarkanika, used to be the centre of tourists’ attraction.
It may be noted here that the country’s first crocodile research and breeding centre was set up on 115 sqkm in Bhitarkanika park in 1975 at a cost of Rs 50 lakh.
First, 25 crocodile eggs had been collected from Kalibhanjadia reserve forest and were hatched artificially at the research centre. One of the hatchlings was white, christened as Gori.
For many years after Gori was born, no other white crocodile was born here.
In 2003, two white crocodile babies were spotted at Bankuala forest. One of them was christened as Malli. Later Malli began to draw attention of tourists.
In 2018, a nest of a crocodile at Ganjeikhia was damaged by tridal waves. Forest officials and researchers recovered 58 eggs from the nest and put in the artificial hatchery. Only 32 eggs hatched.
However, the forest department could not find any white hatchling. Surprisingly, one of them was later found to be white.
It’s age is three years and four months and is two metre long. Forest officials say, the white crocodile, which is fed 150 gm of shrimp every day, is now the centre of tourists’ attraction.