Over 36 hours since a team of rescuers and officials of the Vadodara forest department began an operation to catch a crocodile from the Dev river in Mahadevpura village in Waghodia taluka of Vadodara Distict, the 13-feet-long mugger finally walked towards the bait on Sunday morning. Rescuers had set up a trap to lure the crocodile after he attacked and killed a 54-year-old woman from Mahadevpura village in Waghodia taluka, who was washing clothes on the banks of the river, on Friday.
Hemant Vadhana and his team of Crocodile catchers had joined the forest department team led by Kashyap Patel on Friday afternoon when the woman’s body was pulled out of the river after much struggle with the mugger. The crocodile had dragged away the woman by her leg and also chewed off a major portion of her thigh during the hour-long fight with villagers, who were trying to rescue the woman. This was the third crocodile attack on humans this year and the second fatal one. Earlier in May, the same Crocodile had also dragged away another woman in a similar manner near Goraj, about a kilometer away.
Vadhwana, who has rescued close to 10 crocodiles from various parts of Vadodara since the onset of monsoon this year, said, “It took us over 36 hours to get him to emerge from the water. We had set up a bait and I was trying to lure him myself. When he emerged, I threw the lasso around its neck and pulled it out.” Usually, rescuers then throw a cloth over the crocodile to block his vision and tame the aggression before pinning it down to the ground. The crocodile has now been handed over to the Vadodara forest department.
According to Vadhwana, the crocodile had been residing inside the river for over seven years and has fatally attacked as many as seven persons — mostly women washing clothes on the riverbank — during this time. Officials also say that the crocodile may have turned into a man eater and taken to attack humans due to the fact that biomedical waste is often found littered in one part of the river, close to a charitable hospital for cancer patients, about a kilometer away from Mahadevpura.
Dev River in Waghodia is known for crocodile attacks during monsoon.
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