Mysore, Mar. 25 (KK&JP)- After many years, a crocodile has been spotted on the banks of Kukkarahalli Lake here today. The morning joggers and walkers were jolted by the presence of a huge crocodile which was spotted on the Mysore University campus side of the lake.

Soon, a large crowd gathered and some started to prod the crocodile with sticks while others started throwing stones.

The Police and the Fire Department stood by watching the chaotic scene, instead of stopping the harassment to the reptile.

Finally it was the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. V.G. Talwar, who rushed to the spot and chided the unruly people. Unfortunately only after the Vice-Chancellor had asked the crowd to leave did the Police swing into action and clear the place. Meanwhile, the crocodile slipped back into the depths of the lake.

Crocodiles come out on banks for two reasons: to soak up the sun so as to increase their body temperature or to lay eggs. Considering that the crocodile had come out and seated itself in a depression, it could have come to lay eggs.

Prof. Talwar told Star of Mysore that in the early '60s a crocodile breeding centre was planned on the North Bund of the Kukkara-halli Lake. Accordingly, a small tank was built and several baby crocodiles kept there.

The VC said, "Maybe after heavy rains when the level of Kukkarahalli Lake rose, it flooded the crocodile breeding tank. It is possible that several of those babies had escaped into the lake."

It is now being reported that some people had sighted crocodiles earlier but never bothered to report it. One person who works in a farm nearby told our reporter that two years ago crocodile hatchlings were found just outside Bhoodevi farm.

In the early '60s there were stories of cattle having disappeared in the lake and in the mid-'80s a huge 18-foot long crocodile was captured by Forest Department.

According to sources in Forest Department, there are many people who keep wild animals as pets which is illegal, then try to get rid of them when they realise it's not their cup of tea.

When the Zoo Director was asked by SOM about the hatchlings near Bhoodevi farm, he said it had not been brought to his notice but there were indeed crocodiles in both Kukkarahalli and Karanji Lake.

After today's incident, the Vice-Chancellor who played the Good Samaritan, said that out of the Rs. 5 crore grant given to the University for developmental works, he would recommend setting up a crocodile park in the lake.

People who heard this announcement were heard joking, "Let's hope this Crocodile Park too will not end up flooding and letting more crocodiles swim into Kukkarahalli Lake. We hope the VC takes care this time the tanks holding the baby crocodiles are placed at much higher-level than the tank bund.

Crocs in Karanji

A few years ago after heavy rains, crocodiles were caught in a storm water drain near Geetha School in Siddhartha Layout, and in a small lake near Teresian College. When SOM spoke to the Zoo Director, he said, "there are only eight or nine crocodiles in the Lake. But the entire Lake has underwater fencing so the crocodiles cannot escape. Earlier they might have gone through the storm water drain as one official had removed the fencing to increase the water flow."

He then added, "Crocodiles are well secured in Karanji Lake. The neighbouring residents have nothing to worry."

Bega banni, mosle odi hogtha ide!

Speaking of the crocodile spotted this morning, Vijay Ranjan Singh, Zoo Director, mentioned that the Vice-Chancellor had called him frantically saying: "Mosale odi hogtha ide, bega banni" (Come soon, the crocodile is running away).

On hearing that a crowd had gathered around the reptile, Vijay Ranjan Singh told the VC, "tell the people to leave the crocodile alone. It will simply go back to the lake. Just make sure people don’t create a stressful condition..." Of course, the Vice-Chancellor effectively followed.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore