Dr. Shivarama Karantha Biological Park at Pilikula has Gharial, a crocodile, which eats only fish.

This is an endangered Indian species of crocodile, according to Scientific Officer of the park Jerald Vikram Lobo.

The crocodile, with elongated and narrow snout, is fed with 750 gm of fish daily.

In addition, there are four marsh crocodiles. They are fed with meat and chicken thrice a week.

There are four turtle species, including the endangered Indian black turtle. Others are flap shell turtle, Indian star tortoise and the exotic red-eared turtle.

Except star tortoise, others are fed with meat and algae. Star tortoise eats vegetables and leaves.

Director of the park H.J. Bhandary said that the park had nine endangered herbivorous mouse deer and 40 black bucks. The park had 14 barking deer, 20 sambars and 40 spotted deer. Apart from green leaves, they are fed with horse gram, wheat brawn, and vegetables. The park has three elephants, two adults and a calf.

The park has venomous snakes such as hump nosed pit viper, king cobra, Indian cobra, Russel's viper, common krait, Malabar pit viper and saw scaled viper. There are 14 non-venomous snake species of which Whitaker's boa and mountain trinket snake is endemic in the Western Ghats.

P.L. Dharma, head of the Department of Political Science, Mangalore University, was one of the visitors to the park on Sunday.

He said the animals looked healthy and the park had been maintained well. Another feature at the park is that many animals have been adopted. Mr. Bhandary said the park was looking forward for more adoptions.


Royal beasts are cynosure of all eyes hereOctober 11, 2011