Mangalore; Pilikula Biological Park, on the outskirts of the city, is now home to some new species of crocodiles and pythons.
16 crocodiles and four reticulated pythons were brought to the park from Chennai Snake Park Trust and Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, Chennai, three days ago in an exchange programme, said H.J. Bhandary, Director of the park.
Of the crocodiles, 13 are rare exotic ones, comprising five species of Siamese, three Nile, an African dwarf and four Spectacled Caiman. The remaining three are endangered Gharials. Normally all crocodiles live up to 60 years and some species more than that, said Mr. Bhandary.
Siamese species are of Thailand origin and Nile species are of African origin. Spectacled Caiman species have their origin in South America and Gharials are from North India.
Reticulated pythons are found in North East India, Myanmar and Andaman and Nicobar islands, said Mr. Bhandary. They grow up to 22 ft long, while the Indian Rock Pythons grow up to 18 ft long. All species of pythons normally live up to 12 years, he said.
He said that under an exchange programme, seven Whitaker’s boas, four Indian rock pythons and two female Indian cobras were sent to the Chennai parks from Pilikula.
Water birds coming
Mr. Bhandary said that the Pilikula park would attract water birds from Hyderabad and Surat after two months. The park is now building enclosures for them.