Crocodile kills 8-year-old girl in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar forest division
An eight-year-old girl was killed by a crocodile in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar forest division on Friday, said forest officials.
Neeraj Sharma, divisional forest officer (DFO) Haridwar forest division said 8-years old Radhika and her sister had gone near a marshy one-and-a-half-kilometer-long water body in Kudi Baghwanpur village in Laksar area of Haridwar district to pluck some flowers. He said the water body is like a big marsh, with a thick growth of aquatic plants, which made the search challenging.
“Her sister said when they went near the water body a crocodile attacked her sister and dragged her into the deep waters. She told her parents, who informed local police and forest officials,” he said
Sharma said the forest officials immediately went to the spot with divers and local police and a search was started to trace the girl.
“The incident had happened in the afternoon. After many hours of search, we finally found the body of the girl in the evening”, he said
Gaurav Aggarwal, range officer (RO) Laksar said there were marks of a crocodile bite on her wrist.
“It seems the crocodile dragged her into the water but didn’t eat her. As it is a big marshy water body, around 1.5 km in length, we couldn’t find the crocodile. We will resume our search for the crocodile on Saturday”, he said.
Aggarwal said the girl hailed from Panditpur village nearby. “She and her sister had come to the water body in the nearby Kudi Bhagwanpur to pluck some flowers”, he said.
The range officer said the police have sent the body of the girl for post-mortem.
“The family of the girl will be provided compensation after the completion of the paperwork,” he said.
In Uttarakhand, crocodiles are found in the Corbett landscape, Terai area, some areas of Haridwar forest division and Rajaji National Park landscape.
According to the latest wildlife census released by the state forest department in June this year, crocodile numbers have increased in the state from 123 in 2008 to 451 in 2020.
Of 23 crocodilian species found in the world, India has three species. Uttarakhand has two of the three - Mugger Crocodile and Gharial (in Corbett landscape). Mugger Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris), the most widespread freshwater croc species is found throughout India, except the extreme north.