Teams from forest department and police, along with animal rescue volunteers, launched a search in Mutha riverbed after sighting of a crocodile near the Bhide bridge in Deccan Gymkhana area in the heart of Pune city was reported. However, no crocodile was spotted till reports last came in.
Senior inspector Murlidhar Karpe of Deccan Gymkhana police station said, “A call was received by ResQ Foundation, an NGO, about the crocodile’s sighting in Mutha riverbed near Bhide Bridge. Teams of forest department personnel and animal rescue volunteers joined the search alongside our team.
“No crocodile has been spotted yet. But as precautionary measure, nets have been put up and a cage placed at the location. The forest department team will patrol the site. The police teams controlled the crowd at the spot,” he added.
Rahul Patil, deputy conservator of forest (DCF), said: “We got the information about the sighting of a crocodile in the riverbed near Bhide bridge. Since morning, we conducted searches through the rapid response teams and members of the ResQ foundation. Nets and cages were put in place. But till 7 pm, no crocodile was spotted. The search will continue at night.”
The Pune forest department has recently formed rapid response teams to deal with cases involving sightings of wild animals in the city and its surroundings after two incidents of gaurs venturing into the city were reported.
Gaurs from adjacent forests ventured into the urban areas at Kothrud and Sutarwadi, respectively on December 9 and 22 last year. The four-year-old male gaur, which had entered a residential area in Pune’s Kothrud area and faced an unruly crowd on December 9, died due to suspected exhaustion after it was captured by the forest department.
Another gaur was spotted in Sutarwadi along the bypass road of the Mumbai-Bangalore highway on the morning of December 22. The following evening, forest department teams succeeded in driving the animal back into the adjacent forest with what they termed as “least possible intervention”.