Another croc spotted in Khadakwasla dam

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In what could pose fresh problems for the National Defence Academy (NDA), another crocodile sighting has been reported in the backwaters of the Khadakwasla dam and presence of more than one crocodile is not being ruled out. A crocodile spotted in Khadakwasla lake in 2011 had put a stop to watermanship training of NDA cadets for almost a year and it had resumed after the amphibian was captured by forest department and NDA teams in a 10-hour operation in February 2012.

While the NDA said they have yet to receive official information about the latest sighting, a team of state forest department had reached Malkhed village near the Khadakwasla backwaters after local farmers informed them on Tuesday, January 15, about a crocodile.

"Our staff have taken photographs of the crocodile. We have informed senior officers," said range forest officer Ramesh Bhavsar.

When contacted, NDA spokesperson told The Indian Express they had no information of the latest sighting. "We have not received any information from the state forest department," an NDA spokesperson said.

Asked if any steps are being taken to capture the crocodile, assistant conservator of forests (ACF) B N Tube said, "No. As the water body is huge, it is not possible to capture the crocodile. The crocodile spotted earlier could be captured because it had entered the canal. We released it into Warna river (a regular crocodile habitat). A crocodile has been spotted again after a year. So far we have no information about more crocodiles in the water body. But it cannot be ruled out."

He added, "Instead of capturing the crocodile, we have decided to create awareness and put up boards to warn people. We have asked the forest staff to be alert. We would tell residents of villages across the lake about precautionary measures to avoid any man-crocodile conflict. The forest department had last year spoken to NDA officials about the precautions and safety measures to be taken considering the presence of crocodiles in the dam waters."

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