In a one-of-its-kind rescue and release operation, the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department and Delhi-based non-government organisation Wildlife SOS released a young marsh crocodile into its natural habitat at the National Chambal Sanctuary this past Sunday.
Delhi Wildlife Department and Wildlife SOS confiscated the crocodile several months ago from wildlife smugglers who were intercepted following a tip-off from the Delhi Railway Station.
The smugglers were travelling from Karnataka to Delhi to sell the young crocodile to a Chinese trader to be used in traditional Chinese medicinal preparation. “Initially the Wildlife Court in Delhi issued orders for the crocodile to be kept in the care of Wildlife SOS. Once the permission to release the animal was granted by the DCF Chambal and the Chief Wildlife Warden of Uttar Pradesh, permission was sought to release it in the Chambal,” said a statement issued by Wildlife SOS on Wednesday.