A girl at a village in Kendrapara district saved her schoolmate from an estuarine crocodile attack in Odisha.
Basanti Dalai, a Class 1 student of a government-run school in Bankuala village, is being treated at a hospital. She recalled the harrowing experience and thanked her schoolmate Tiki Dalai (6) for saving her from the reptile.
The victim sustained multiple wounds on her hand and thigh but is said to be out of danger.
Both the girls were taking a bath in the village pond on Tuesday when a crocodile leaped from the water and attacked Basanti.
To save her friend, Tiki picked up a bamboo stick and dealt a blow on the reptile’s head. The reptile then slipped back into the water.
Tiki Dalai deserves praise for her bravery, a resident Pradip Kumar Das said.
“The attack was so sudden that I had little time to react. The stick that was lying near the pond saved my friend,” Tiki, who is also enrolled in the village school, said.
The state forest department would bear the cost of treatment of the girl injured following crocodile attack. The department would also award compensation sum to the injured person’s family as per revised rules, said divisional forest officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) forest division, Bimal Prasanna Acharya.
Forest officials, however, believe that people are in danger of an attack because of venturing into crocodile-infested water bodies.
“Forest department has taken several measures to save human and domesticated animals from preying crocodile. Over two dozen riverside spots were identified as danger zones due to frequent sighting of reptiles in these places. Warning has been issued to people to avoid these troubled water zones. The bathing ghats which are vulnerable due to crocodile intrusion have been barricaded”, said officials.