Indian officials have been criticised by environmentalists for relocating almost 500 crocodiles from the foot of the world’s tallest statue to allow seaplanes to bring tourists to the new site.
So far about a dozen crocodiles, some up to nine feet long, have been captured after being lured into metal cages with fish. They were removed by pick-up truck to be released elsewhere in the Western state of Gujarat.
Conservationists criticised the plan to allow a seaplane service to the ‘Statue of Unity’, a 587 foot high bronze-clad depiction of independence hero Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Tourists are currently forced to endure a 125 mile bus journey from Gujarat’s capital Ahmedabad to get to the £330 million statue, boasts a viewing platform near Mr Patel’s chest and is more than twice the size of the Statue of Liberty.
Forestry official Anuradha Sahu said the instruction had come from the state government “for safety reasons as the tourist influx has increased”.