Kendrapara: The Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district, which remained closed for nine days for the annual census of saltwater estuarine crocodiles and migratory birds, has been opened for tourists from Tuesday.
The decision to keep the National Park close was taken to prevent the noise pollution during the census drive, informed DFO of Rajnagar Mangrove (Forest) and Wildlife Division, Bimal Prasanna Acharya in a statement to the media.
The annual bird census was conducted by the Rajnagar forest division in Satabhaya, Raipatia, Matha Adia, Gupti Ghat, Hansila Ghat and wide wetland of lighthouse along with Bhitarkanika National Park.
Similarly, crocodile census was also conducted simultaneously in the sanctuary.
Following the census of saltwater crocodiles carried out along the water-bodies of Mahanadi deltaic region in and around the Bhitarkanika National Park, the number of crocodiles has increased by 44 as compared to last year’s count.
This year 1742 crocodiles were spotted in the national park, while 1698 crocodiles were recorded in last year’s census.
Notably, the Bhitarkanika National Park remained closed for visitors from January 6 to 14.