A 5-year-old male crocodile was rescued from a sewerage-fed waterbody on the outskirts of Solapur on Tuesday, several weeks after the forest department was alerted to its presence by local residents and operations to coax it out began, an official said.
The rescue operation by forest department staff and a Pune-based NGO took place in Degaon, some 250 kilometres from here, said Irshad Shaikh, Range Forest Officer, Solapur.
"The 1.85-metre long crocodile was in the waterbody, which is made up sewerage coming from Solapur city, for the past three months. After residents alerted us, we observed the movement of the animal for one-and-half months and set up three cages with meat as bait," he said.
"It was important that we rescue it quickly as the water is contaminated and could harm the animal. Today, members of RESQ, an animal welfare outfit from Pune, and forest staff rescued the crocodile after it entered one of the cages. It is under medical observation," the official added.
In another recent incident, villagers in northern India were alarmed when they found a crocodile lurking in the local pond. But then they hatched a plan — to demand a ransom.
The two-metre (eight-foot) reptile from a nearby nature reserve turned up in the village of Midania in Uttar Pradesh after monsoon flooding on Tuesday, officials said.
Anil Patel, an official responsible for the buffer zone around the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve told AFP that the locals caught the crocodile and then demanded 50,000 Rupees to give it back.
"It took us hours to convince them with help from local police and authorities to release the crocodile," Patel said.
The villagers were also threatened with legal action and eventually the crocodile, Patel said, is free now. "We released it into the Ghagra river the same day."
( with inputs from PTI )