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Gujarat government shifts 500 endangered crocs, protests erupt

January 27, 2019

The Gujarat Forest Department has started to relocate an endangered species of crocodiles to start a seaplane service from the Statue of Unity. Over 500 crocodiles will be relocated which has infuriated animal activists and NGOs from across India.

This new seaplane project is initiated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the work is going on under the Gujarat state government's supervision.

Among those to have spoken out strongly is leading environmentalist Bittu Sehgal

Have we collectively lost our minds? - Bittu Sahgal, Editor, Sanctuary Asia.

Authorities are using fish as bait to capture the crocodiles and shift them. Currently, they have captured more than 10 crocodiles. Experts pointed out that shifting of the crocodiles must be done scientifically, but that is not being followed. The reptiles are captured, put in cages and transported in pick-up vans. Experts say this is hardly the way to look after an endangered, vulnerable species.

"Sad to hear this, Government is shifting 500 #crocodiles to improve tourism", tweeted Achlesh Daverey.

The Statue of Unity, which is the world's tallest statue, was unveiled on October 2018. This is a statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel located at the banks of River Narmada. It is over 182 metres and is being promoted as a a prime tourist attraction.



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