With humans under lockdown, wildlife all over the world is getting a chance to flourish. And according to latest reports, the population of marsh crocodiles living in the wilderness of Sindh is believed to have increased in at least four locations across the province. The locations include Haleji Lake, Nara Wetland Complex, Chotiari Wetland Complex and Wagni village near the Ghotki and Hub Dam.
While an exact number is not known, a representative of the Sindh Wildlife Department (SWD) said that over 200 crocodiles have been sighted in Haleji Lake and its surroundings and as many in the Nara Wetland Complex.
He added that these were just rough estimates and that there is no exact tally of the crocodile population in the province.
Sharing his excitement, SWD Conservator Javed Mahar said: “Crocodiles coming out of the water to bask at Haleji Lake is a sight to see. Crocodiles opening their mouths and sunbathing is called basking, which is a natural process. It re-energises them.”
Mahar further shared that these carnivores were once found in abundance in the region but their population shrunk after a canal irrigation system was constructed in the region.
“The fragmentation of their habitat, illegal hunting and illegal trade also contributed to their declining numbers,” said Mahar, adding that records show that they also used to reside in creeks near Karachi.
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He said that though illegal hunting of these animals has now been banned, hunters continue to target these animals to polish their shooting skills. Meanwhile, others kill these animals in fear that they would attack and hurt them.
“But they [marsh crocodiles] are not aggressive and do not attack people. I have not heard of any incident of them attacking people,” he said.