Saltwater crocodiles in Sundarbans face multiple threats—habitat degradation, poaching, development pressure, climate change and rising pollution, to name a few.
But it is not all bad news. Authorities at the Karamjal Wildlife Breeding Centre in Chandpai range of eastern Sundarbans have been overseeing their breeding efforts.
And just this Friday (June 12), a crocodile nicknamed 'Pilpil' laid 44 eggs beside a pond of the breeding centre, Azad Kabir, in-charge of Karamjal Wildlife Breeding Centre told our correspondent.
Of them, 21 eggs have been kept in Pilpil's cage, 12 in old incubators and 11 in new incubators. Officials at the breeding centre hope that the eggs will hatch in 85 to 90 days.
The upsetting news, however, is Pilpil has been laying eggs in the breeding centre since 2010 but none of the eggs laid by either Pilpil or Juliet have hatched in the last three years.
The authorities are trying their best it seems this time. To aid in the incubation process and to increase chances of hatching, they divided up the eggs into three portions—one set will be left to incubate under natural methods, another set will go inside conventional incubators and yet another set will be kept inside new and self-made incubators.
The Karamjal Wildlife Breeding Centre started its journey in 2000. So far, 292 crocodiles have hatched in the premises at different times and 96 of them have been released in various rivers and creeks of the Sundarbans.