This Saltwater crocodile was shot at the Bhitar Kanika national park located on the north-east coast of Odisha, the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India. The 145 km national park is surrounded by another 670 sq km of wildlife sanctuary. Four rivers, Brahmani, Baitarani, Dhamra and Pathsala flow into the Bay of Bengal from this wetland.
It is probably the best natural home to the Saltwater Crocodiles in India. Three species of crocodiles—the Gharials, Muggers and Saltwater crocodiles—were on the verge of extinction in the river systems in Odisha by 1970. With an estimated more than 1,700-plus today, they are a shining example of conservation and how with a little support from us, wildlife can rebound.
About the photographer: Dr Panda, is a surgeon known for a world-record setting 12 bypass grafts in a single patient. He moonlights as a wildlife photographer on weekends. He says, "Photography helps me heal. It also helps me take positive action towards healing my patients better".