Kendrapara, March 7(LocalWire): A 35-year-old man was grievously injured today at Rajpur village near Bhitarkanika National Park when he was attacked by a salt-water crocodile while he was bathing in the river Bramahani.
The crocodile dragged the victim Bhagabat Rout into deep waters. However, a group of locals who were there at the river ghat attacked the predator and rescued him. ‘We attacked the crocodile with a bamboo and it lost its grip and failed to drag the victim deeper into the water,’ said Mahendra Rout, a villager.
Rout sustained multiple lacerations and puncture wounds to his limbs. He was immediately rushed to the Community Health Center at Rajnagar where doctors stitched his wounds. Later, he was shifted to district headquarter government hospital at Kendrapara for further treatment, hospital sources said.
‘Although the crocodile attack occurred outside the national park limits, the forest department will bear the cost of the injured man’s treatment, said Divisional Forest Officer of Bhitarkanika National Park, Bimal Prasan Acharya.
‘We warned the villagers living near to the park not to enter into the rivers, creeks and other water bodies as the area is infested with about 1700 ferocious estuarine crocodile. The forest officials also erected barricades in about 35 ponds and river ghats in the park and its nearby areas to prevent the crocodiles from attacking humans,’ he added.
Locals said at least six to ten people are killed or maimed by crocodiles every year. ‘Most of the cases are not reported; people just go missing,’ said Hemant Rout , the secretary of Gahiramatha Marine Turtles and Mangrove Conservation Society of Rajnagar, one of the areas that is hit the hardest by crocodile attacks.