Chennai Snake Park celebrates the third birthday anniversary of seven 'Gharials'
The park offered treats to the visitors to celebrate the occasion
On May 28, Chennai Snake Park guests were treated to a delicious surprise. The park gave out chocolate to visitors in honour of the three-year anniversary of seven Gharials (Gavialis gangeticus), a type of freshwater crocodile. These seven were the first eggs to hatch in the park.
S Paulraj, the Snake Park's Executive Chairman, stated, “In 1993, half a dozen gharials were received from the Nandankanan Zoological Park in the Odhisha capital Bhubaneswar, under an animal exchange programme." Since then, these reptiles have been in the park, but they have not been breeding successfully.”
“In 2020, the young ones emerged from their eggs amid the lockdown brought on by Covid-19. Overall, 24 of them hatched, and the weaker ones tragically perished one by one,” he said. Seven infants are presently housed at the park. which are succeeding, according to S Paulraj.
The large numbers of tourists that arrived on Saturday were informed of the facility's requirement to protect the reptile. Gharials are an endangered species. Due to the tough conditions they are subjected to, they can now only be found in India, along the Chambal, Girwa, and Son Rivers; and in Nepal along the Narayani River. They are designated as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List and under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972.
“The survival of gharials is very difficult, as there is little or no parental care after they are out of their eggs. The babies must overcome all the odds, especially the threat of predator birds, to survive. In captivity, only when a suitable location is provided can crocodiles breed. Otherwise, the programme will not be able to succeed,” Paulraj elaborated.
Gharial, which has a bulbous knob at the end of their snouts, get their name from the Hindi word ghara, which means pot. The ghara serves as a vocal resonator, partially hiding the crocodile's nostrils, and producing a loud, buzzing sound when the gharial vocalises, among other things. Also, it serves as a visual cue that aids males in courting females.
The only sexually dimorphic crocodiles that may be seen are gharials, which have distinct physical differences between males and females of the same species. Gharials assemble in river bends where the water is deeper and dwell in pure freshwater river systems. They don't do well on land, therefore they often only leave the water to nest or enjoy the sun.
The Chennai Snake Park Trust is India's first reptile park. The park is home to a variety of snakes, including cobras, vipers, adders, pythons, and other reptiles. The park received official recognition as a midsize zoo from the Central Zoo Authority in 1995.