Kendrapara, Apr 5: A six-year-old girl at a remote village in Kendrapara district displayed exemplary courage to save her playful mate from claws of death following attack by a furious estuarine crocodile.
The survivor Basanti Dalai, a class I student of a government-run primary school in Bankuala village undergoing treatment at a government-run hospital recalled the harrowing experience and thanked schoolmate Tiki Dalai for saving her from the crocodile attack.
The victim sustained multiple wounds on her hand and thigh and is stated to be out of danger. Both the girls were taking bath in the village pond on Tuesday when a crocodile leaped from the water and attacked Basanti all on a sudden.
However, she survived as her schoolmate picking up a bamboo stick dealt a blow on the animal’s head. The reptile which had clung onto the victim was jolted by the sudden attack and left the girl to slip into the water.
‘The attack was so sudden that I had little time to react. The stick lying near the pond saved my friend,’ Tiki, who is also enrolled in the village school, narrated.
‘She deserves praise for the brave act,’ said a local resident Pradip Kumar Das.
The state Forest department would bear the cost of treatment of the girl injured following crocodile attack. Besides, the department would also award compensation to the injured person’s family as per revised rules, said Divisional Forest Officer of Rajnagar Mangrove wildlife forest division, Bimal Prasanna Acharya.
Forest officials, however, are of the view that people are exposing themselves to crocodile attacks by venturing into croc-infested water bodies. ‘The forest department has taken several measures to save human and domesticated animals from preying crocs.
Over two dozen riverside spots were identified as danger zones due to frequent sighting of reptiles in these places. A warning has been issued to people to avoid these troubled water zones. The bathing ghats which are vulnerable due to crocodile intrusion have been barricaded’, said officials.