A boy has died following a Crocodile attack in the Sangli District of Maharashtra State, India, on Thursday 16 May 2019. Akash Jadhav, 12, of Mauje Digraj village, was playing by the bank of the River Krishna while his mother and sister washed cloths nearby, when he was seized by the animal, thought to have been a female Mugger Crocodile, Crocodylus palustris, which dragged him into the river and held him for 30-45 minutes before being driven off by local fishermen. The boy's body sank after being released, and was not recovered until the next day.
Akash Jadhav, 12, killed by a Crocodile in the Sangli District of Maharishtra State on 16 May 2019. Zee News.
Mugger Crocodiles were formerly found across South Asia from Iran to Myanmar and Nepal to Sri Lanka, but they are thought to be extinct in Myanmar, Bhutan, and Bangladesh, and is considered to be Vulnerable under the terms of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. Muggers are smaller that Saltwater and Nile Crocodiles, with males reaching about 3.5 m and females about 2.5 m, and are generally less considered less dangerous, as their preferred prey is animals smaller than Humans. However, as with other Crocodylians, the females can be highly aggressive during the nesting season (April to June), and people are occasionally killed by these animals.
The River Krishna in Sangli District is home to a large population of Mugger Crocodiles, with attacks in May and June becoming a regular problem; there were two such incidents reported in 2018, one of which resulted in a fatality, and several more fatalities over the past few years. These attacks have led to reciprocal actions by local villagers, with regular reports of Crocodiles being killed (illegally) in the area. This conflict appears to have been driven by rising Human populations in the area, which means that there are more Humans living close to the Crocodiles, and that there is more water being taken from the river for domestic and industrial use, reducing the available habitat for Crocodiles and their main food source (Fish).
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