A nearly nine-foot-long crocodile, that entered a village in Uttar Pradesh's Agra district and struck panic, has been rescued and released into the river, officials said on Monday.
The massive reptile was safely rescued by Wildlife SOS, an NGO, and released in the Chambal river, in the presence of forest department officials.
The crocodile was spotted in Paroli village in Fatehabad tehsil of Agra district. The villagers managed to keep the crocodile from venturing deeper into the village.
A team of two rescuers from Wildlife SOS, accompanied by forest officials, carried out the rescue operation. The reptile's right foot was found missing, which seemed to be a result of an older injury.
Baiju Raj M.V., Director Conservation Projects, Wildlife SOS said: "This is the second crocodile we have rescued from Fatehabad this year."
"Crocodiles are found in freshwater habitats, including ponds, rivers, lakes and marshes, and they can migrate considerable distances over land in search of a more suitable habitat and prey," he said.
"We believe the crocodile had wandered into the village from Yamuna river which flows across this area. It has been released into the Chambal river which supports a significant crocodile population," Range Forest Officer R.N. Tiwari said, The mugger crocodile (crocodylus palustris), also called the Indian or marsh crocodile, is found throughout the Indian subcontinent.
It is listed as 'vulnerable' on the IUCN Red List and protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.