Shivamogga: A man who had gone fishing in the Tunga river in the taluk, ended up baiting a crocodile hatchling, stoking fears of an increase in crocodile population in the river.
Rashid of Pillangere village in Shivamogga taluk had cast bait for fish in the Tunga river which runs next to Sri Lakshmi Ranganathaswamy and Anjaneya Swamy temples. On noticing the bait being pulled, he reeled in the fish line to pocket the fish catch. However, he was shocked to find a crocodile hatchling firmly biting the bait instead.
Rashid shared this news with his neighbors and the news spread like wildfire.
Recently a crocodile was spotted at Kudali, the confluence point of the Tunga and Bhadra rivers. The finding of a crocodile hatchling has given rise to suspicions that the crocodiles have started breeding. Locals fear the number of crocodiles in the Tunga river is likely to increase.
Tunga is a lifeline of the locals. Cattle also come to the stream to drink water. People also draw water from the river for their daily needs. The rising number of crocodile spotting has naturally made people anxious. The villagers said they have also informed forest department officials about the rising menace.