Two crocodiles from the Karanji lake drifted into the neighbouring Mysore zoo when excess water was released into the storm-water drain that passes through the zoo premises following heavy downpour here on Tuesday.
The zoo authorities, however, managed to rescue one of the crocodiles and released it back into the lake the same day. Efforts were on to catch the second crocodile which is believed to be inside a pond in the zoo.
On Wednesday, a team of workers from the zoo was seen draining water from the pond to rescue the reptile. The authorities said they will set the ‘trapped’ crocodile free by Wednesday evening.
Sources in the zoo said the incident did not cause any inconvenience to visitors on Wednesday, and there were no reports of flooding inside the zoo.
“There has been no untoward incident in the wake of the crocodiles entering the zoo. There is no need to panic,” said zoo director B.P. Ravi.
Excess water from the lake had to be released to prevent flooding in the nearby residential areas such as Siddharthanagar. As the lake harbors crocodiles, a couple of them inadvertently drifted into the zoo environs, the sources add.
A portion of the zoo was flooded four years ago from the overflowing Karanji lake, inundating animal enclosures. A Nilgai had died after floodwaters entered its enclosure. At that time, the width of the storm-water drain was narrow, which caused the flooding. Previous floods had led to the death of birds and animals.
In the wake of repeated floods, the storm-water drain was widened at a cost of Rs. 323 lakh under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Mission (JNNURM) to prevent excess flow of rainwater from the lake. During the flooding in 2010, the water-level in the enclosures of crocodiles and alligators had risen and zookeepers had to drain the water. A couple of crocodiles swam out of the zoo, but were immediately captured on the main road of Siddharthanagar.