Villagers delay rescue of crocodile from temple claiming its presence was ‘auspicious’

A crocodile that strayed into a temple in a village in Western India had it rescue delayed, after villagers claimed that the reptiles presence inside the temple premises was auspicious.

The crocodile found way into the Khodiyar Mata temple in Gujarat’s Mahisagar district. After a delay, forest officials rescued the reptile on Sunday.

Khodiyar Mata, is the family deity of the Patel community in the state of Gujarat and its often depicted in religious literature as riding on a crocodile.

Lunawada Forest official incharge RV Patel said, “A large number of people who had assembled at the Khodiyar Temple in Palla village in Lunawada tehsil offered prayers, conducted aarti and showered vermillion (religious ceremonies) on the 6-foot reptile as it lay near the goddess’ idol.”

Officials suspect that the reptile travelled about 6 kilometers in search of food during the night from the Mahisagar River, the river has a sizable number of crocodiles.

In a year officials rescue close to 35 crocodiles that enter human habitat.