My phone was ringing second times. I was busy with my office work when I picked up the phone. It was my friend Rajeev Kumar erma’s call on 20 September 2009, who has been working in Irrigation Department in district Mainpuri, informed me that he sighted a muggar in Etawah Prakhand Canal close to Gangasi bridge in Mainpuri. One hour later my volunteer Mr Ajay Kumar Verma called me and made it known that it was not Mugger but a sub adult Gharial. He could identify it very well as he worked with me 3-4 years prior

to joining his new job in Irrigation department. Immediately I informed Divisional Forest Officer Mr Deepak Kumar, Mainpuri to take needful action. When he initiated his efforts to take care of it, soon after it that Gharial disappeared and failed to locate it. Next day, it was sighted on Bhujhia Bridge in the same canal. We were continuously monitoring the sightings. Just after one day, it was sighted at Bansak and next day sighted at

Rukaia, eventually, on 24rth September 2009 Gharial walked past Turaiya canal check door (N 26 49.331, E 079 11.551) to Kandhesi Minor. Than I received a phone call from our another volunteer Mr. Amit Kumar who has lived in Bharthana town of Etawah district. He told me that he had information of Gharial, which was being sighted in Kandhesi Minor close to Jaitiya village (N 26 47.712, E 079 12.453). It was not safe to catch the Gharial because it was evening dusk when

he informed me. We were only 30 km far away from that sight but area was not safe to walk in the night and take any action. Off hand, I informed DFO Etawah, Mr. Sudarshan Singh and requested him to do something for saving that Gharial. Our media friend Mr. Dinesh Shakya, who keep in touch with Senior Superintendent of Police Mr. Praveen Kumar, who directed Circle officer to safeguard that Gharial in the night hours. SDM Bharthna Mr A.K.Awasthi

directed Irrigation department’s staff to keep checking the water flow in Kandhesi Minor, Next day on dated 25 September 2009 I was present there with our film shooting team but Gharial got to somewhere and disappeared again. We all were helpless. Even then we keep continuing to locate disappeared Gharial curiously. We were looking over all connecting water bodies but Gharial had gone to somewhere else. We spent more than three hours to locate but we failed to find it.

Casually, Amit received a call from Bharthana town, a citizen said that there was a Gharial in close proximity of canal along the Etawah road (N 260 47.278, E 0790 12.716) to which he was searching for. Please come soon “People are causing harm to Gharial by pelting stone” and other things of the same type. We moved instantly in order to protect Gharial and meanwhile we called out the police for the protection of Gharial. Within ten minutes we all were there along with the team of forest department Mr. Raj Bahadur Forester, who leads the team with some professional catcher in particular and then we started the operation. All the team members

had taken duties to their respective abilities. We baffled both the sides of canal with net and then we get dredging from one end to other. In the beginning we made two attempts but in vain. Thankfully, we got success in our third attempt. Gharial got entangled in course of dredging in net. We got it off the net with no delay. It was a 6.5 feet long female sub adult Gharial, looking pretty healthy. Before getting Gharial off to the National Chambal Sanctuary Nearby Udi Bridge. We also got done the medical check up of the Gharial with the help of veterinarians available at the district hospital. Our team and doctors were delighted to see all that happened to Gharial.

Gharial health in question was quite good to be got back to their habitat living wild in Chambal.
In the history of Etawah this was the first time when a Gharial sighted in the town area, thousands of people gathered around and were trying to see it first with passion. It was quite difficult to manage the situation but we all were happy to have rescued Gharial.
I would say it was the long time efforts of our organisation “Society for Conservation of Nature” for making awareness of wildlife conservation that made us an opportunity to reach there in time and rescued the Gharial.
We are thankful to the villagers who informed us in time and hope they would keep continuing their support for saving wildlife likewise that in future.

For more details contact to;

Dr. Rajeev Chauhan
Secretary General
Society for Conservation of Nature (SCoN)
576, Karamganj, Punjabi Colony
Etawah-206001, U.P. India
Phone- 915688266651
Mob.: 919412182576
Email : [email protected]
Web page:

All photographs copyright to SCoN, Etawah