Bantala: Crocodiles have given birth to over 500 hatchlings at a gorge in Satkosia Sanctuary along the Mahanadi river in Angul district, in July this year, forest department sources informed Sunday. They said that the crocodiles had laid a large number of eggs from the Binikei area of Athmallick sub-division to Kataranga in summer.
The eggs had been laid and protected by the mother crocodiles on the riverbed at at Bagadhara Khala, Mahala Diga, Balada Mara, Jharajhari, Majhipada Ghat, Marada and the Old Nature Camp area. Sources said that 10 mother crocs had laid the eggs. The number of eggs laid by each crocodile varied from 40 to 70.
Satkosia divisional forest officer (DFO) Ramaswami P said that they have been maintaining a constant vigil on the area where the eggs were laid. “We have been regularly patrolling the area and keeping a vigilant eye on the eggs. Nobody is being allowed to trespass into the hatching area,” informed Ramaswami.
As per the census of crocodiles conducted between January 9 to January 11 this year, Angul forest division had 131 adult crocodiles, Ramaswami informed.