Fifteen years ago, in 1998, a small crocodile was caught at a temple outside of Lalbaug. He was measured to be only 2.5 ft. long and was estimated to be very young. After gathering some basic bio-data, he was released in one of Gujarat’s biggest resevoirs called Ajwa. Before he was released, a tag wtith the nuber ’25’ was placed on his tail.
Almost 15 years to the day at 9 pm, a panicked phone call came into the GSPCA. The fearful caller wanted help with a ‘large’ crocodile that had tried to enter a shepherd’s house in a village called Champapur. Apparently, a near stampede had occurred with the cows when the unwelcome crocodile had entered the yard.
When the GSPCA arrived, the team saw a very large crocodile measuring 11.2 ft. and a tag with a number on its back. This tag signified that the crocodile had been caught before. The number on the tag was ’25.’ This was the same crocodile that had been caught 15 years earlier but it was now over 5 times larger. The crocodile was enormous and had obviously flourished in his home at the resevoir where approximately 300 other crocodiles live.
After collecting some information on the crocodile based on the IUCN guidelines, the crocodile was re-released. We may never see the crocodile again or it may reappear in 5 or 50 years. Nonetheless, we are hear to help not only with the rescue of the crocodiles when they wander to into ‘risky’ places, but also to learn from these crocodiles so we can protect them long into the future.
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