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State undertakes 10-year management plan for crocodile breeding at Bakkhali

Kolkata: The state Forest department has made a ten year management plan for systematic crocodile breeding in estuarine water at Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project at Bakkhali under the Sunderbans Biosphere Reserve (SBR) area.
"The Crocodile Park at Bakkhali is the only such park in the state and one of the few in the world. Popularly known as Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project (BCP), it is a large shelter for these huge reptiles. Crocodile breeding is done here on a small scale.
Now, we have decided to breed on a large scale. Hence, we are revamping the project area which will get doubled after the work is over," said RP Saini, director of SBR.
The SBR has set a target of breeding more than 15 crocodiles in a year. The animals are released in the rivers of the Sunderbans after it attains three years of age. The animals are released after the population of adult crocodiles goes
over 20.
It may be mentioned that BCP located adjacent to the Lothian Island and on the bank of the Saptamukhi Estuary has of late emerged as an important tourist destination of the Sunderbans.
There is a variety of species of crocodiles from all life stages - from a harmless egg to a full grown predator and people can witness these dangerous creatures up front. The hard scales and such a close look creates a sense of surprise as well as terror among the visitors.
"The dense mangrove forest at the confluence of Saptamukhi river system has immense natural beauty to attract tourists all throughout the year.
Once we take up breeding of the crocodiles on a large scale, we will form a team of guides who will be informing the tourists in detail about the breeding process and most importantly the importance of preservation of crocodiles," a senior official of SBR said adding that he is hopeful that the rejuvenation of the breeding centre will also encourage researchers.
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