Crocodile rescued from pond in Navi Mumbai
After four days of search, a marsh crocodile, measuring 6.43 ft and weighing 35.4 kg, was rescued from a pond behind the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) headquarters on Tuesday. Thane Forest Range officers and Wildlife Welfare Association (WWA) officials began rescue operations on Friday after a video of the crocodile went viral on February 17 and sparked complaints from residents and the NMMC’s disaster management cell.
Aditya Patil, president of WWA, said, “On 17 February, we received a request to relocate the crocodile. Over the next few days, we secured the pond’s exit points. We located the reptile on Sunday morning using a boat and set up a cage, containing meat, that night. We trapped the crocodile at 12.10 a.m. on Tuesday.”
Mr. Patil said the pond was spread across two acres and the cage was partially submerged in water. The cage was equipped with a camera and WWA volunteers monitored it 24×7. “Crocodiles need to breathe once on land and can then remain in water for close to an hour. So locating them is a big challenge,” he said.
Thane Forest Range officer Narendra Muthe said the around six-year-old female crocodile had been roaming the sewers and creeks of Navi Mumbai for several years and many videos of it had gone viral on social media.
Mr. Patil said the crocodile was also spotted in Juinagar creek and it later inhabited an artificial pond used for fish rearing.
Mr. Muthe said, “The reptile entered a pond behind the NMMC headquarters. Since it posed a threat of stepping out and attacking pedestrians and residents of nearby hutments, we decided to relocate it.”
After a medical test at Sanjay Gandhi National Park to check if the reptile had swallowed any hazardous material like plastic or metal, it was shifted to a safe location beyond city limits on Tuesday evening.