Silchar: An adult Bengal monitor was recovered from a fishery in Lafasail in southern Assam’s Karimganj district on Tuesday.
Lafasail falls under the Karimganj North assembly constituency, about 68km from Silchar town. Sources said a group of children spotted the creature in a fishery of a person Mamon Hussain on Tuesday morning and they thought it to be a crocodile.
The kids immediately alerted some residents about it following which the fishery’s owner Mamon Hussain and a few locals reached there and tried to rescue the animal from the waterbody. After a couple of hours, they managed to take it out of the fishery and then informed the forest department.
Meanwhile, the news that a ‘crocodile’ was caught spread like a wildfire in the area and people gathered in and around the fishery in huge numbers to have sight of the creature. A team of forest officials reached the spot and the animal was handed over to them, the sources said.
Forest officials confirmed that it was a Bengal monitor (in Bengali – Gui Shap) and said these reptiles are generally found in waterbodies of hilly areas.
The officials said the animal suffered some injuries during recovery from the fishery, and it would be released after necessary treatment. As per the forest officials, the reptile weighed around 10 kg, and it was around 7ft long. The animal’s skin had a copper-reddish tint, forest officials said.
Sharing his reaction, fishery owner Mamon Hussain said he has a deep love for animals and requested everyone to spare the animal and handed it over to the forest department. Some elderly persons (mostly sexagenarians) said they had seen such creatures in the village during their childhood, but they had never seen them so big (like the one found on Tuesday). Some residents said the reptile might have migrated in search of food during the recent floods and got stuck in the fishery.
Bengal monitors or the common Indian monitors (Varanus bengalensis) are monitor lizards distributed widely in the Indian subcontinent and various parts of Southeast Asia and West Asia. Mostly terrestrial animals, Bengal monitors are carnivores and scavengers. Their typical diet consists of beetles, grubs, orthopterans, scorpions, snails, ants and other invertebrates. They also feed on frogs, fish, lizards, snakes, rodents and ground birds. They are also scavengers and sometimes feed on dead animals.
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