17-Year-Old Girl Killed In Crocodile Attack In Odisha’s Bhitarkanika

Kendrapada: A 17-year-old girl was killed after being attacked by a saltwater crocodile at a riverside village in Kendrapada district of Odisha, reports said.

The deceased has been identified as Sheela Dalei of Rangani village near Bhitarkanika National Park in district.

Sheela and her elder sister Sumitra Dalei were grazing their goats near a creek in Rangani village two days ago when the incident happened. Sumitra said while they were grazing the goats, one of the flocks entered the creek and when Sheela rushed to bring back the goat, a crocodile suddenly appeared and pounced on her. The reptile then dragged Sheela into the water, PTI reported.

According to sources, the death of the girl was confirmed on Sunday after Sheela’s mutilated body was fished out by fire service personnel.

Bhitarkanika is home to around 1,784 crocodiles. The human-crocodile conflict in and around the villages along Bhitarkanika has been increasing which has turned into a challenge for the concerned forest department.

According to official sources, this was the fifth loss of human life due to crocodile attacks in riverside villages on the periphery of Bhitarkanika National Park in the past four months while at least seven others were injured in the attack of the saltwater crocodiles during the period.

The family of the deceased girl will be given Rs 4 lakh as per the government’s scheme to compensate for the death due to protected wild animals, range officer of the national park Manas Dash was quoted by PTI as saying.

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