Kendrapara, August 26 (LocalWire): A 30-year-old mason was killed by a crocodile while he was taking bath in the river Bramahani near Nilakanthpur village under Pattamundai police station near the Bhitarkanika National Park of Kendrapara district on Sunday evening.
‘The incident happened around 6.30 p.m. when Chandan De of Nilakanthapur village was dragged away by the crocodile.
Some villagers raised an alarm and tried to save him but the reptile killed him,’ said Santosh Baral, a villager.
‘The crocodile suddenly leaped out of the knee-deep water, clamping its jaws and dragged him into the water,’ said Ashok Jena, another eyewitness.
This was the seventh deadly crocodile attack near Bhitarkanika this year.
Locals, forest guards and fire brigade personnel launched a search since Sunday night but they are yet to retrieve the body.
Bhitarkanika , a vast tract of forest and saltwater swamp is home to around 1742 saltwater crocodiles as per the this year reptile census .
In the recent months, many crocodiles strayed out of the park and entered the rivers, creeks and other water bodies near the park to lay eggs,’ said Subrat Patra, the Forest Range Officer of the park.
‘We warned riverside villagers not to water bodies of Bhitarkanika and its nearby areas as they are infested with ferocious estuarine crocodiles.
The forest officials also constructed barricades to prevent the crocodiles from attacking humans,’ added the forest officer.
‘The forest department will provide compensation of Rs four lakh to the family members of the victim after due inquiry,’ Patra added.