The 15-year-old girl Hiral Vagh was attacked while washing dishes on the Machchhundri riverbank in the Babariya range of Gir Wildlife Division. “The reptile dragged the teenager deep in the water,” Dushyant Vasavada, Chief Conservator of Forests of Junagadh Wildlife Circle told The Indian Express.
“A woman, who was present on the spot raised an alarm but the girl could not be saved,” Dheeraj Mittal, Deputy Conservator of Forest of Gir said. Forest officials are on the look-out for the reptile responsible for the attack, however, they say it is difficult to locate the exact crocodile
“It is a difficult task to identify the reptile. But we have placed cages with baits on the bank of the river stretch where the incident took place,” Mr. Mittal said. “After rescuing the reptile, we will release it in the water away from the human habitation.”
Ms Vagh was a member of a community of traditional forest dwellers who live off basic amenities and herd cattle by the river.
Her settlement, Popatdi ness, is located downstream the Machchhundri dam on the edge of the Gir Forest and the crocodile-infested part of the river. The settlement is one of 46 maldharis (cattle herding communities) who live and prosper inside the forest.