Md Srabon, Mongla
Only four hatchlings have come out from 44 eggs of the crocodile Pilpil of Karamjal, a wildlife breeding center in the Sundarbans, the only government crocodile breeding center in the country.
On Saturday morning, only four babies were born from 11 eggs kept in the new incubator. Forest workers have expressed frustration over the hatching of only four crocodile hatchlings from 44 eggs. However, livestock experts say that the two mother crocodiles’ ability to produce young crocodiles have decreased due to increasing age.
Earlier, on June 12 this year, Pilpil laid 44 eggs in her house on the bank of the pond at noon. The forest workers tried to hatch the eggs by keeping 21 of the eggs in Pilpil's own house, 12 in the old incubator and 11 in the new incubator. Of these, 4 out of 11 eggs kept in the new incubator hatched.
In addition, on May 29, another crocodile, Juliet, laid 52 eggs. Of these, 14 eggs were kept in Juliet's house, 28 in the old incubator and 12 in the new incubator. But none of Juliet's 52 eggs hatched, said Azad Kabir, an official in charge of the Karamjal Wildlife Breeding Center in the Sundarbans.
He said, “Karamjal is the only government crocodile breeding center in the country.
There are two mother crocodiles for breeding here. We try to breed these crocodiles very carefully. We tried our best to hatch the baby from the time the crocodile lays its eggs. But both Juliet and Pilpil are very old. As a result, the fertility rate of their eggs is very low. He added that the old incubators here are very old-fashioned. The new incubator has a capacity of only 24.” He claimed that success could come if two more such incubators were built.
According to the Forest Department, various steps have been taken to increase the crocodile population in the Sundarbans. Forest department staff maintains and cares for the birth of hatchlings from crocodile eggs. As the crocodiles age, their fertility decreases.
It is to be noted that when the Karamjal Wildlife Breeding Center was started in 2000 and crocodiles laid eggs here in 2005. So far, 292 baby crocodiles have been born in Karamjal at different times. Of which 195 hatchlings are still in the breeding center. 97 crocodile hatchlings have been released into various rivers and canals in the Sundarbans.