CHENNAI: As many as 1,000 crocodiles will be transferred from The Madras Crocodile Bank (MCBT) Trust here. Already, 300 reptiles were relocated from the bank recently, and the next batch will be sent in the next few months.
The MCBT park authorities stated that there won't be any breeding hereafter, and they are relocating only the excess animals as it has been difficult to maintain and feed the reptiles at the trust.
“Initially, we were asked to breed these crocodiles to release into the wild. But, after it was done the government order was passed that due to the human animal conflict they should not be released into the wild. We got a lot of baby crocodiles over here; they have been growing for the past few years and become quite big. It is difficult for us to find space and feed them,” said Pramila Rajan, Director of The Madras Crocodile Bank.
The trust exchanges only one or two animals with other zoos, and not more than that. Later, the Greens Zoological Rescue, and Rehabilitation Centre in Gujarat came forward to take the excess reptiles. “We visited and checked the facilities there, and they have sufficient space for these crocodiles. We are convinced that our animals will be taken care of well. So, already 300 crocodiles were transferred,” added Pramila.
After the PIL was filed, the bank was not able to send the remaining reptiles and was waiting for the permission to send the next batch of crocodiles in the next few months. At least Rs 4 lakh per month is being spent for feeding these reptiles alone, and there will be additional charges for the maintenance.
Though the crocodile bank has facilities for breeding, now they are not allowed to breed anymore due to excess count. A mother crocodile will hatch at least 30 eggs at a time.
A retired official at The Madras Crocodile Bank trust said, “The crocodiles have been transferred across the country and world all these years. The highest reptile sent to foreign country was 50 crocodiles, and within India, this is the highest by relocation of 1,000 crocodiles.”
Usually, they exchange or give it for free and only a transportation fee will be charged. Even though they relocate the 1,000 reptiles, there won’t be a shortage as they have adequate crocodiles.