Private museum claim to have world's largest crocodile skull

A miniature private museum of antiques and wildlife trophies in Rajkanika area of Odisha's Kendrapara district claim to house the world's largest crocodile skull.  

Noted herpetologist H R Bustard, who visited the museum at the local palace, claims that the skull measuring one metre

is the largest one to get anywhere in the world.    

"I was left awe-struck by the shape and size of the skull. The second largest crocodile skull is at British museum in

London. It is 70 centimetre long. The skull in Rajkanika museum is 30 cm longer than that at the British Museum. It is preserved with technical supervision by the scion of erstwhile Kanika zamindary, Shibendu Narayan Bhanjdeo," said Bustard, who had launched the crocodile conservation project in Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary in mid-seventies.

"I would draw the attention of International Union of

Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to accord recognition towards

the croc skull in Kendrapara," Bustard said.

Bhitarkanika has also the distinction of housing 22 foot long crocodile in the wild, which world's largest living crocodile as per Guinness Book of World Record.     

Bhanjadeo of erstwhile kanika zamindary that ruled the river-locked Rajkanika region for over a century, said the crocodile skull is the most precious possession of the museum run by a trust.

The skull of an estuarine crocodile preserved at a miniature museum in Kendrapara district's Rajkanika continues to arouse considerable curiosity and attention of eminent

reptile researchers.

Bhanjdeo is still in possession of other wildlife trophies that include skulls of male elephants, spotted deer and hide and skin of a Royal Bengal Tiger.

"I feel proud that I have managed to preserve the crocodile skull which has been recognised as world's largest one. As

keeping wildlife skulls in home is an offence under wildlife

protection act, part of my ancestral palace has been converted into a miniature museum," he quipped.

... contd.

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