Udayavni Special

Croc pays visit to home in Kerala; captured and released


PTI, Dec 9, 2020, 2:29 PM IST

Thrissur(Ker): A crocodile knocking at your door may sound strange, but that is exactly what happened in a house in Kerala early on Wednesday. A family, living in this central district, opened the front door of their house in the morning as usual, only to find a giant crocodile in the verandah outside.

The uninvited ‘guest’ paid a visit to the house of Shajan Thacheth located near the famed Athirapally waterfalls, the largest waterfalls in the southern state. Shajan’s wife, who opened the door by 5.00 am, was shocked at the sight of the aquatic reptile on their porch, which was the play area of their grandchild.

The startled homemaker raised an alarm and awakened other members of the family who immediately alerted the forest department officials. Hearing their cries, some neighbours and local residents also rushed to Shajan’s house and tried to drive away the carnivore using a plastic pole. But, their attempts were futile as the reptile crawled under a sofa.

A video, in which the crocodile is seen biting a pole when someone tried to move it away, has gone viral now. Shajan said they heard some strange noise from the verandah during the wee hours and thought it might be a stray dog, but never imagined that it would be a crocodile.

A seven-member team of forest officials, with the help of some locals, first tried to force the reptile out of the premises and move it to the nearby Chalakkudy river.

“But, the croc was reluctant to budge after crawling some distance. So, we tied its mouth and tail safely without causing any injury to the reptile and later released it near the waterfall,” T A Ajikumar, forest officer, Charpa Forest Range, told PTI.

It took almost three hours to capture and safely release the reptile, the official said adding that the local people were very cooperative and no one tried to harm the crocodile. Local residents said the area near the waterfalls, a busy tourist destination, is a habitat of crocodiles.

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