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BD Press: Crocodile breeding prospect bright in Bagerhat

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Posted by W von Papinešu on March 25, 2003 at 16:48:57:

{Please attribute the following to Allen Salzberg of}

THE INDEPENDENT (Dhaka, Bangladesh) 24 March 03 Crocodile breeding prospect bright in Bagerhat
Bagerhat: The prospect of breeding crocodiles are bright in Bagerhat district, it is gathered from a competent source.
The fast disappearing crocodiles can be protected through pragmatic measures, some experts told this correspondent recently.
The geo-environmental conditions of Bagerhat are quite conducive to breeding of crocodiles. The breeding of crocodiles can also fetch a huge amount of foreign exchange for the country. But unfortunately, no effort has yet been made in this regard, the experts added. There are immense possibilities here for breeding 'Porosus' type of crocodiles like those in Thailand. A project for breeding crocodiles can be launched in the district. Crocodiles are available in large numbers in the Pashur river of this region.
Rare species of crocodiles abound in the historical Khan Jahan Ali (RA) Dighi, a big pond adjacent to the shrine of Khan Jahan Ali (RA). The historic pond comprising 200 bighas of land contains many rare species of crocodiles.
These rare varieties of crocodiles can be preserved by promoting their breeding with modern concept and technology. They can also be exported for earning a huge amount of foreign exchange.
The hides and skins of crocodiles have great demand throughout the world. The skin of a three years old 'Porosus' type of crocodile is sold at 100 US dollars. The flesh of crocodiles has also great demand in different countries of the world. The flesh also acts as a remedy to some diseases including asthma, said a doctor.
A pond covering an area of two acres of land is enough for breeding of 500 crocodiles. But more space is required in and around the pond for storage of grass, sand and straws, abode, making of food pond, shadowy spots and sunny spots.
Before laying eggs a female crocodile selects a suitable hole where she will lay eggs after a week. 'Porosus' type of crocodiles lay eggs numbering 30 to 50 at a time. It takes her two to three hours for completion of laying eggs. After hatching the eggs for about 80 days, baby crocodiles come out of 40 to 50 per cent of the eggs.
'Cimensis' type of crocodiles lay 20 to 40 eggs at a time out of which baby crocodiles come out at the rate of 50 to 60 per cent after a period of 70 days hatching.
After the baby crocodiles come out of the eggs, a group of the babies numbering between 8 and 15 are kept in flowing water tanks with wooden chambers measuring 30X40X50 centimetres. The tanks are netted from above in order to protect the baby crocodiles from the attack of insects.
These tanks should be kept away from sunlight and noise as far as possible. When a baby crocodile falls sick it needs to be segregated from the tank before it infects others. The baby crocodiles do not require food till 10 days of their birth after which they are fed with heads of fish. Feeding in this way continues before they can easily swim in the pond and swallow fish in the water. Crocodiles generally eat fish and meat. Each crocodile requires 1500 kilograms of food for a reproductive pond of 500 crocodiles. The skins and fleshes of crocodiles become fit for sale as they attain three years of age.
The physical growth of crocodiles is not noticed after three years in comparison with the labour and money employed for their growth. It is therefore profitable to sell them after attaining three years of age.
A project of crocodile farming at a cost of Tk 10 crore was taken up by the Forest Department in Sundarban. The project papers were sent to the ministry for approval.
Its tentative spots were also selected by the concerned department at Chandpai, Saronkhola, Khajura and Mandarbaria of Bagerhat district.

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