Sri Lanka Crocodile

sri lanka crocodile, Galoya national park

Crocodile one of the most dangerouns animals in Sri Lanka (about Sri Lanka) there is a high possibility of occuring them in remote areas. If you make a Sri Lanka trip with wild life parks you never fail to spot a couple of them. Crocodile is one of the most common animals that can be spotted in Sri Lanka safari tours. You probably think that crocodiles are occurring only in national parks and wildlife reserves! but it is not like that. Crocodile can occurs even in most populated areas of Sri Lanka, there had been many instances that crocodiles are captured in busy parts of the island such as Colombo. Therefore do not jump into the inland water sources if you are not sure if it is free of crocodiles.

Wildlife ministry of Sri Lanka is planning to confine crocodiles into two conservation centres in southern Sri Lanka and western province. The move was taken after the two deadly attacks by the giant crocodile in Nilwala River off Matara. The giant crocodile which committed both crimes was captured recently and moved to Yala national park, the animal was four meters in length.

Conservationists who oppose the program opine that will be a difficult task to confine this living fossil into the conservation centres. Especially during the monsoon, this causes flooding in those areas. The best way to stop the killing due to crock attack is the conservation of the natural habitat of crocodiles. There are two conservation centres are planned, one in Kirala Kele and the second one is in Muthurajawela wetlands close to Colombo.

Crocodiles occurred in most parts of the island and they are inhabited by rivers and estuaries posing some threats to the people who live nearby. People are not allowed to harm the animal since it is a protected animal in the country.

There are many deaths reported mainly in southern Sri Lanka due to the crocodile attacks and most recent being the two deaths in southern Sri Lanka in April 2012. Wildlife department is focusing on conducting a crocodile census in the island and plan the measure to avert future calamities.

Sri Lanka is inhabited by two species of crocodile saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) and the marsh crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) and both are apex predators in the natural habitat. Crocodile considered being a living fossil that existed during the Jurassic age but not much changed until today.

Over the past 15 years, 130 crocodile attacks were reported on the island killing 35 people while around 50 animals were killed during the same period by the people.

Muthurajawela proposed a site for the conservation centre is the largest wetland in Colombo. It helps to control flooding during the monsoon today it is declared as a protected area under the wildlife act. Muthurajawela has vast stretches of scrub and marshlands, which is ideal living habitat for crocodiles. Rathmalana is also a marshy area south of Colombo and another valuable wetland in the western province. Wetlands in both these areas are shrinking fast owing to the encroachment. Crocodiles move to urban areas from these wetlands through the waterways, mostly during the floods.

A giant crocodile was killed in February 2012 by people in Ragama. The crocodile had been one of biggest found on the island so far. The crock had been five meters in length while weighing more than 1,000 kg. According to the naturalists, the main reason for the crock attacks is the encroaching of crock habitat and crock attacks from southern Sri Lanka are reported even hundred years earlier and these areas are crocodile habitats and for a long time. Crocodile attacks are not confined to remote areas, crocodiles a are observed often in urban areas due to the increasing number of animals. Dumping garbage in crocodile habitats is a key reason to accelerate the crocodile population, for instance, the butchers in the areas dumping all the leftover of animals in Muthurajawela.

Human-crocodile conflict

The human-crocodile conflict comes to fore in Sri Lanka with the latest incident in which young girl was killed by a giant crocodile. There had been some similar isolated incidents recorded in the past and the number of fatal accidents owing to crocodile is on rising. Sri Lanka already facing a tough time with the wild elephants and it is causing massive destruction in several parts of the island. The wildlife officials are struggling to find ways and means to reduce the human-elephant conflict and human-crocodile conflict is the newest challenge they are facing today.

The latest prey of crocodile recorded in southern Sri Lanka, Malimbada in Akuressa in which 18 years old school girl was dragged away by a crocodile. The incident was recorded on the 6th of April 2012. The girl had been to the bank of Nilwala River for washing her face in the morning as she was dragged away by the crocodile.

The mother of the girl had tried to rescue her from the crocodile but failed, unfortunately. The crocodile had a firm grip on his prey and easily slipped away. Residents gathered to the incident shortly after the incident and looked for the victim. Later on, the body of the girl was found hidden in the river bank. According to the media, this is the second incident in which people were killed, within an interval of a few days. A few days back a similar incident recorded in the southern Sri Lanka in which a mother of three children was killed. She had been to the river for washing clothes as the incident occurred.

Local newspaper daily Divaina reported: police sources suggest that at least 20 people were killed for the last 10 years in the country.

Recently a giant crocodile was found in the Ragama, near commercial capital (Colombo) of the island. The same crocodile had dragged away and killed 33 years old man, only one leg of the person was found in the search operation later. Few cattle and few dogs were also killed by one of the giant crocodiles found in the country so far. It was reported that the aggressive animal was captured by the residents.

Crocodile sanctuary

First, ever crocodile sanctuary of the island will be set up with the patronage of wildlife conservation department in Sri Lanka. It was revealed in a press conference held by the ministry of wildlife recently.

At the moment crocodile is a protected animal in Sri Lanka and it is declared as an endangered aquatic reptile in the world and their number is reduced sharply in the world for the last few years. However in Sri Lanka crocodile population is sharply increased in some areas, posing some threats to the people who live near the river banks and other water resources. Southern Sri Lanka Nilwala River and Muthuragawela wetland near Colombo are identified as areas with a large number of crocodiles.

It is revealed that the uncontrolled sand mining in rivers causing the influx of salt water into the country and to the lower area such as rice fields. Then the rice fields become unsuitable for cultivation and abandoned by the farmers.

Posted by

Sanjeewa Padmal (Seerendipity tours)

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