From a cramped and congested cages in Phuentsholing crocodile breeding centre, four crocodiles and 15 gharials have been relocated to a spacious enclosure in Jigmeling, Sarpang.

The reptiles are translocated to the regional animal rescues and rehabilitation centre in April last year.   The centre has 15 acres area.

A senior forestry officer, Sangay Dorji, said that the centre serves to just keep the crocodile and gharial in a safe and spacious area unlike the breeding centre in Phuentsholing, which was open to visitors.

The Phuentsholing breeding centre had only about 20 decimals area.

Sangay Dorji said there is no plan of opening the centre for public wanting to see the crocodiles and gharials as of now.

The centre has just two permanent staff, a forestry officer and a veterinary doctor.

Currently the animal rescue and rehabilitation centre is rehabilitating seven wild animals including barking deer, peacock, goral, common palam civel and hornbill.

While stray dogs attacked some of these animals, moving vehicles injured others. Two deer were also released recently.

Sangay Dorji explained that the centre will cater to injured animals from other dzongkhags as well. “But we could not cater to other dzongkhags since we do not have a vehicle to rescue and transport the animals.”

Meanwhile, the centre was constructed at a cost of Nu 17 million. Within the 15-acre compound, it has a single storey house, which is used as an office and clinic. Another two-story building caters a four-unit staff quarter.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Gelephu