Gavial sighting in India baffles experts
For the first time in over 100 years, a gavial has been spotted in India. The freshwater crocodile is native to South Asia and is typically found in the Ganges and Brahmaputra River systems. But experts say the recent sighting of a gavial in the Chambal River system is puzzling as the species has not been seen in that area for more than a century.
The Chambal River system is known for its steep banks, rocky shoals and strong current, which makes it difficult for fish to swim against the flow. This could be why the gavial has not been seen in that area for so long.
Gavials are listed as a "vulnerable" species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), meaning they are at risk of becoming extinct in the wild. There are estimated to be only 2,000-3,000 gavials remaining in the wild.
The main threats to gavials are hunting and loss of habitat due to development. They are also killed as pests or caught accidentally in fishing nets.
Gavials can grow up to six metres long and weigh up to 450 kg. They have a long snout with sharp teeth that they use to feed on fish, mammals and birds.
Giant gavial caught on video in Nepal
Fishermen in Bardiya National Park, located in the Terai region of Nepal, captured a giant gavial on video. This species of crocodile is critically endangered and rarely seen in the wild.
The video, shot by Prabin Baidya, shows the fisherman using a rod and reel to catch the croc as it swims near the edge of a river. The reptile is estimated to be about 6 meters long (20 feet) and weigh approximately 450 kilograms (1,000 pounds).
Giant gavials are the largest crocodiles in Asia and can be differentiated from other crocodilian species by their long, thin snouts. They typically feed on fish, small mammals, and reptiles.
Bardiya National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including tigers, leopards, deer, boars, rhinos, and elephants. It was established in 1988 as Nepal's first national park.