Bhubaneswar: Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district was reopened for tourists on Sunday after remaining closed for ten days for the annual census of the estuarine crocodiles, said the divisional forest officer of Rajnagar Mangrove (Wildlife), Bikash Ranjan Das.
“The restriction on the visitors was imposed to prevent noise pollution during the headcount exercise of the reptiles in Bhitarkanika,” the DFO said.
The national park was closed for the annual census of the estuarine crocodiles from December 26, 2019, to January 4, 2020.
At least 1,757 salt-water crocodiles including albino species were counted this year along the water-bodies of Mahanadi deltaic region while the census figure, recorded last year, stood at 1,742, Das said.
Bhitarkanika National Park has reestablished itself as country’s lone habitation corridor for albino estuarine crocodiles, according to the latest findings.
Boat journey along the mangrove-covered water bodies is a major attraction for tourists. On any given day, 350-400 tourists make the voyage on water bodies by boats and there would be no compromise on the safety aspect, said the DFO.