(Image for Representation)
CHITWAN: The Chitwan-based Crocodile Breeding Center has welcomed 224 hatchlings. The baby reptiles were hatched from eggs collected from the banks of Rapti and Narayani rivers.
According to assistant conservation officer at Chitwan National Park’s Bed Bahadur Khadka, 336 eggs were collected from five nests in Rapti and four in Narayani River. The incubation period for crocodile eggs is 70 to 80 days. The eggs were gathered and kept at the Center, the part of CNP, in mid-April.
The park had released eight nests in the Rapti and five in the Narayani. Eggs in all nests in the Narayani River were damaged by the flood when they were near the incubation phase.
This year weather was not favorable for crocodile reproduction as it was raining since mid April. Sunshine is needed for the hatching.
So far, the Center has released 1,515 grown up crocodiles in several rivers. Fifty reptiles were released in the Rapti River near Kasara this year. Last year the figure was 100.
The conservation efforts of crocodile of endangered Ghariyal species is taking place from the Kasara-based breeding center established in 1978. The release had begun in 1981.
In the recent years, crocodiles are released only in the Rapti River. Increasing river pollution has posed challenges in the conservation efforts.
The Center is presently a home to around 500 crocodiles: babies and adults. It is said hatching in the center has not been possible in the absence of male crocodile. It has just one male member and its reproduction capacity is believed to be weaker.