People, Environment

Chabahar Launches Mugger Crocodile Sanctuary

Chabahar Launches Mugger Crocodile SanctuaryChabahar Launches Mugger Crocodile Sanctuary

A sanctuary for the threatened mugger crocodile was launched on Friday in Chabahar, Sistan-Baluchestan Province.

According to IRIB News, mugger crocs whose natural habitat is struck by drought will be transferred to the sanctuary. Muggers are found along the Makran Coast in southern Iran.

Also known as the Persian, Indian or marsh crocodile, the mugger is classified as a "vulnerable" species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The government has taken steps in the past two years to protect this species. In 2015, the High Environment Council criminalized the poaching of mugger croc. Last month, the Department of Environment announced that it had prepared comprehensive plans to protect six out of the 74 endangered species in Iran, including the crocodile.

Easily recognized by its wide flat snout, the mugger is considered one of the most dangerous crocodile species to humans.

According to CrocBITE, muggers attacked 224 people worldwide between 2012 and 2016. In Iran, however, attacks are rare; only three people were attacked by muggers in the same time period, one of which was fatal.

The mugger croc is found in freshwater pools, wetlands and slow-moving lakes from Iran to the western reaches of Southeast Asia, according to Britannica.

Among the largest crocodile species in terms of physical size, muggers can grow to about 4 to 5 meters. Although they tend to feed on fish and reptiles, some have fed on larger prey, such as deer. 

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