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Jharkhand village catches crocodile eating goat, ties and hangs it from tree

Residents of Chota Madansahi, a village in Jharkhand’s Sahebganj district, caught a sub-adult crocodile and tied it with a rope when it was found eating a goat.

ranchi Updated: Sep 06, 2018 11:33 IST
Sanjoy Dey
Sanjoy Dey
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
jharkhand,crocodile caught in jharkhand village,sahebganj district
A crocodile was captured by villagers at Chota Madansahi village in Sahebganj, Jharkhand, on Wednesday, September 5, 2018. (HT Photo )

Panic prevailed in a village in Jharkhand’s Sahebganj district on Wednesday when locals claimed they had spotted crocodiles approaching residential areas. The forest department, however, said it found evidence of only one animal.

Residents of Chota Madansahi, a village with 163 houses, caught a sub-adult crocodile and tied it with a rope when it was found eating a goat.

They hanged the reptile on a tree before handing it over to forest department.

Though the villagers claimed three crocodiles were spotted and they were able to catch one, forest officials said they found evidence of one only animal in the village.

The officials asked the villagers to be alert and to not allow children and cattle to go near the swelling river Ganga.

Protected under scheduled-1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, the crocodiles reportedly reached the village with rising water level in Ganga river in Sahebganj, which was recorded at 30.90 metres, around three meters above the danger level.

A resident Md Mahtab Alam said he spotted the crocodiles early morning. “I saw the crocodiles were feasting on a goat and they were moving towards the residential areas. I called the villagers to stop the approaching reptiles,” Alam said.

Finally, six persons of the village-Rafiqul Ansari, Md Daud, Rabbul Ansari, Abdul Gaffar, Saddam Ansari and Manglu Ansrai came forward and tied it with a rope and hanged it on a tree.

However, two other crocodiles could not be caught as they jumped into a large drain there, Alam said.

While the villagers claimed spotting three crocodiles, forest officials said they saw evidence of only one animal. ( HT Photo )

He, then, called a professor of Sahebganj College, professor Ranjit Kumar, who along with a team of forest officials led by divisional forest officer (DFO) Sahebganj, Manish Tiwary reached the spot.

“We took control of the crocodile and released it in Ganga river, around five kilometers away from the village,” Tiwary said, adding, it reached the village with rising water level in Ganga river. There is no habitation of crocodile in Sahebganj.

Till a few decades back, crocodiles were found in abundance in Jharkhand. However, population of the reptile is fallen drastically now.

Crocodiles at Jharkhand’s lone natural habitat on a certain stretch of Bhairavi, also known as Bhera river in Muta, 36km from capital Ranchi, have almost vanished, experts said.

The reptiles used to be found in 13 locations, locally known as Dah (river bank with natural holes for animals), on five kilometers stretch of the river in Muta. Now, they are seen occasionally in six to eight locations, said Jharkhand wildlife board member DS Srivastava.

Food shortage, polluted river and human interference are the major causes of their decreasing population from rivers, he said.

First Published: Sep 06, 2018 11:31 IST