Crocodile Watching in GoaMany tourists are taken by surprise that Goa is home to the Wild Crocodiles too and that they survive and thrive in their very own natural environment. Though popularly called as, “Crocodile Spotting” in Goa, we would love to accurately call it, “Crocodile Watching”. The reason being, that Crocodiles are many and easy to spot, because being cold blooded animals, crocodiles of Goa need to spend a lot of time in the sun to keep themselves warm. Hence you can see them sunbathing on the muddy shores of the Cumbarjua canal. Once spotted on the banks of the Cumbarjua Canal then these lazy Goa Crocs do not move, so you can comfortably watch them from a safe distance without disturbing their lifestyle.
Where can one spot Crocodiles in Goa?Only two Crocodile watching spots exist in the full of Goa. Crocodiles of Goa can be spotted at Opa River and in the brackish waters of the Cumbarjua Canal.
About Cumbarjua Canal in Goa
The Cumbarjua Canal in Goa can be called the Crocodile Canal of Goa. Since it’s a Canal, so it connects the two main and major rivers of Goa that is Mandovi and the Zuari. The connecting length of the Cumbarjua Canal between Mandovi River and Zuari River is around 15 kms. The lively mangrove habitat serves as a reproducing ground for fish, prawns, molluscs, birdlife and crocodiles. One can notice around 40-50 Crocodiles within the length and breadth of the Cumbarjua Canal in Goa.
What is this, “Mangee Thapnee” Festival?In the Durbhatwadi village along the canal the crocs are even worshipped on the day of the new moon in January, as the guardian spirit of the community. In many parts of the world, the fear of crocodiles has been sustained by religious rites and beliefs. A stone crocodile is venerated at the Sun Temple of Konark in Orissa. In Gujarat, 03 tribal communities worship Mugger Dev. In Kathiawar, a crocodile is the mount of the deity Khodlyar Mata.
Are the crocodiles of Goa dangerous to human presence?Accidentally speaking, it is always safer to keep safe distance from the crocodiles, even though they are docile, lazy and not interested in humans as prey or food. From a conservationists point of view the crocodiles are more in danger from humans, the greedy humans who want to exploit any and all wildlife just to support his basic needs.
Most of the Cumbarjua crocodiles are comfortable with the human presence; it’s always the tourists in Goa who are more scared of the Goan Crocs. If any person ventures too close, the crocs just jump into water and move away. Human beings are not endangered or even near to getting extinct but the crocodiles have been known to be hunted by animal poachers worldwide for their beautiful tough skin and here in our country of India Crocodiles are considered endangered and equally same as Tigers.