Bhitarkanika in Kendrapara: Very good news for tourists to the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary in kendrapara district and wildlife lovers. A new member of white crocodile has been added to the saltwater albino species like ‘Gori’ in the sanctuary with the birth of an albino crocodile hatchling.
The hatchling is undergoing extreme care at Dangmal Crocodile Research & Conservation Centre. This is for the third time the rare reptile has been born in Odisha.
The albino crocodile was among 32 hatchlings which came out of eggs in scientific process in August. After the hatchlings grew, the white crocodile was spotted out of the lot much to the delight of sanctuary staff.
Notably, a crocodile nest at Ganjeikhia in Bhitarkanika was destroyed due to heavy sea tide during the crocodiles’ breeding season this year. The forest department personnel had collected 58 eggs from the nest and kept those at Dangmal Crocodile Research & Conservation Centre. Of those 58 eggs, 32 hatchlings were born through scientific incubating process.
As the hatchlings grew up, the sanctuary staff spotted one albino crocodile hatchling swimming in the water. And its colour was white!
Earlier on April 22, 1975, a female albino crocodile hatchling ‘Gori’ was born for the first time at Dangamal Crocodile Research & Conservation Centre with a white colour. It was the only albino crocodile in India with tht rare colour. Even, the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was curious enough to have a glimpse of Gori which was brought to Bhubaneswar by special for the VVIP.
However, Gori could not be blessed with babies even at age of 32. Sadly, several efforts by the sanctuary staff to get a sibling from female crocodile Gori failed as she reacted violently every time a male crocodile was brought near it. Might be she was averse to sex or did not like the natural shade of male crocodiles. She preferred to remain alone. And died silently at the age of 32.
Later, the forest department got two more white crocodile hatchlings in 2003. While one was kept in a confined pond, the other hatchling was released to a river in Bhitarkanika. And no one knows what happened to it.
Be that as it may, the arrival of the ‘White Baby’ has elated the sanctuary staff who last heard were searching for a catchy name for the hatchling.