Kendrapara, July 10 (LocalWire): A human-crocodile conflict mitigation awareness programme was organized by Being Wild organization and the Forest Department in the riverside villages of Balakati and Jayakunda near Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district on Friday.
The awareness camp was attended by locals, police officers, forest officers, Panchayat body members, and environmentalists among others.
In the programme, Narayan Samal, the Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) of Bhitarkanika National Park deliberated on the intrinsic relationship between human beings and crocodiles in Bhitarkanika and appealed to the villagers to protect the wildlife.
“To prevent human-crocodile conflict, the state forest and wildlife department recently barricaded around 45 river Ghats and creeks in and around the national park.
We have warned the villagers not to enter the river Ghats beyond the barricaded areas,” added the forest officer.
Jyotiprakash Samantray, the IIC of Kendrapara police station, said, “The need for mass awareness is necessary among the riverside villages to prevent conflicts between human beings and wildlife.
Bhitarkanika is a paradise for nature lovers, conservationists and biologists.
Crocodiles are the main attraction for tourists. There is a need to protect the mangrove forest and crocodiles.”
Brajakishor Dev, an environmentalist, urged forest officials to provide alternative livelihoods to local fishermen who were barred to fish in the river due to the presence of crocodiles.
The meeting was also addressed by environmentalist Suvendu Bhatacharya, Dr Mithila Das, Dr Abanedra Parida and others.