(Persia Digest) – Bahu Kalat is a village close to the city of Chabahar in Sistan & Baluchistan Province, in southeastern Iran. This village has turned into a tourist attraction for its rare species of crocodiles found in Iran. A protected area in Bahu Kalat called “Gando” is home to these reptiles who go by the same name, aka Persian marsh crocodiles or short-snouted crocodiles. The region takes its name from this crocodile.
The short-snouted crocodile habitat and tourist attraction is located in southern Sistan & Baluchistan, called Gando by the locals. In captivating areas such as Bahu Kalat and Sarbaz River, a versatile wildlife has taken roots in a peaceful coexistence between man and beast, attracting large numbers of sightseers every year.
For the residents of southern Sistan & Baluchistan, this animal is a symbol of blessings and prosperity. They believe that if the crocodiles migrate, drought and famine will cast its shadow on their lives, leading them to do their utmost for its protection.
Despite popular belief, the Gando is a cautious, timid little beast who is rarely spotted. At the first sign of trouble, this clever reptile will submerge itself in water.
The rivers of Bahu Kalat, Kaju, and Sarbaz, and also the water limits of Rask, Chabahar, Nik-Shahr, and Saravan cities are the sole habitats of this species in Iran.
According to the latest statistics, 400 Gando crocodiles are under the protection of the province’s DoE.
The species has the two types of Crocodilia and a marsh (mugger) or short-snouted crocodile in Iran.
This rare species is important in Iran because this province is its only habitat and the DoE has taken it under its wing in a protected natural habitat in Gando.
Apart from Iran, the species can also be found in Nepal, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and perhaps parts of China. The largest numbers have been reported in the Indian Subcontinent.
According to environmental experts, this rare species is on the verge of extinction in the world and only measure 2400 in number, living in wetlands that are also drying up.
Photos: Rostam Kariminejad/IRNA News Agency