The crocodile that was spotted behind the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) headquarters in Belapur last week was rescued after two days of aggressive operation by the Forest department of Thane Range, Wildlife Welfare Association (WWA), and civic body on the mid-night of Tuesday.
Aditya Patil, president of Wildlife Welfare Association (WWA) said that the reptile was rescued around 12.10 am on Tuesday after two days of an aggressive rescue operation.
Last week, a video went viral of a crocodile in the marshy land behind civic headquarters in Belapur after some fishermen spotted the reptile.
The viral video created panic as it was just behind the civic headquarters where people visit during the daytime frequently.
However, the NMMC administration not only put-up a warning banner but also asked the forest department to rescue the reptile at the earliest.
Narendra Muthe, Thane Range Forest Officer said that some of the residents and the NMMC informed them about the crocodile. Following this, nets were put up in the area to prevent the crocodile from escaping. “This was a joint operation and after two days, we finally rescued the reptile,” said Muthe. He added that the crocodile is around 5 to 6 years old.
Muthe said that last year, the crocodile was seen once. However, it was not seen as there were two-three water bodies in the area. “Due to drop in water level, the crocodile was noticed and we had kept a close watch to rescue the reptile,” he said.
He further added that they will take a health certificate from the Borivali national park and later release the reptile in their habitat.
Patil from WWA said that first they blocked all the exits and put the cab with a WIFI camera to monitor from a mobile phone. “Around 12.10 am on Tuesday, the reptile was trapped in the cage and in the morning the forest department took the reptile,” added Patil.