Rescue operation fails | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 19, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:29 AM, December 19, 2018

Trapped Crocodile in Padma

Rescue operation fails

After the daylong drive on Monday, the district forest department and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) failed to rescue a freshwater crocodile from the Padma river.

District administration and the forest department requested angry locals not to harm the crocodile.

The huge crocodile has taken shelter in a disconnected lagoon of the river at Komorpur point in Pabna Sadar upazila early of this month. This was the second freshwater crocodile seen in a river in the last 50 years as it was believed to be extinct from the country's rivers for a century, said experts.

Locals said since the water level has receded, the lagoon was disconnected from the main channel of the river.

Forest department and IUCN jointly tried to catch the crocodile using 300 feet wide and 35 to 40 feet deep net but they could not catch the crocodile, said Md Mahabubur Rahman, district forest officer.

There is no experience of rescuing such huge crocodile from the river, so the experts are searching for new technology, Mahabubur said, adding that the crocodile is remaining in the deep part of the Padma.

Local people got angry as the crocodile has not been rescued in the last three weeks.

Padma's Char-Komorpur point is a big source of fish. Fishermen catch fish every year in winter but they have not been able to catch fish in the last few weeks, causing immense sufferings for ultra poor fishermen in the area, said Md Ali Hasan, chairman of Dogasi Union Parishad (UP).

Boatmen and fishermen have become jobless due to the fear of crocodile in the river, said the chairman.

The deputy commissioner, earlier, sent a letter to the UP chairman to protect the crocodile for the sake of nature.

The crocodile is not harmful for people. During winter, it does not eat so much. It does not move unnecessarily, so there is no reason to be afraid, said Sarwar Alam, senior scientific officer of IUCN, adding that they will conduct another rescue drive soon.

If they are able to rescue the crocodile, it will be taken to Bangabandhu Safari Park in Gazipur for regeneration of the variety, he said.

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