Agra, July 30 : A villager in Uttar Pradesh's Firozabad district ran screaming for help when he saw a five-foot-long crocodile cosily perched in the toilet of his house, officials said.
Other family members, who saw the strange guest in the toilet, also panicked and called their neighbours to help in the incident which occurred in Mohabbatpur village early on Wednesday.
The villagers said the crocodile had perhaps wandered out of the village pond and found shelter in the toilet.
Fearing for their safety, the villagers barricaded the bathroom and informed the local police which alerted the Forest Department. The Forest Department dispatched their team, while also contacting the Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit for assistance in the rescue operation.
A four-member Wildlife SOS team, with the necessary equipment including a customised transportation unit and safety gear, joined the forest officers on site. Ensuring that the crowd of curious onlookers was at a safe distance, the team placed a trap cage with food bait at the bathroom door to lure out the crocodile. In a few minutes, the crocodile was inside the trap cage and it was later released in the Yamuna at Narangi Ghat, Bateshwar.
Wildlife SOS CEO and co-founder Kartick Satyanarayan said: "The family exhibited sharp thinking by barricading the crocodile inside the toilet as this ensured that everybody was out of harm's way. We were able to assist the Forest Department with timely intervention to prevent a conflict situation, and in successfully rescuing the reptile." The NGO's Director, Conservation Projects, Baiju Raj M.V., said: "Our team had to employ extreme caution as the limited confines of the toilet did not provide much space for comfortable handling. That is why we decided to set up a trap cage with food bait to ensure that there was minimal contact with the agitated reptile." Regional Forest Officer, Jasrana, Tulsiram Dohare said: "We immediately contacted the Wildlife SOS team as they have assisted the Forest Department in conducting similar rescue and release missions previously." In June, the team had rescued a seven-foot-long crocodile from a village in Shikohabad nearby.
The mugger crocodile, also called the marsh crocodile, is native to the Indian subcontinent. It is most commonly found in freshwater environments such as rivers, lakes, streams, village ponds and man-made reservoirs.