An entire village in Chhatisgarh assembled to bid farewell to their deceased friend. Their friend, named Gangaram was very popular popular across his village and nearby areas. So much so that the villagers regarded him as their protector. No, don’t mistake Gangaram to be a human being. Neither was he a domistic animal like a dog, cat or cattle. Instead he belonged to a specie that is generally feared by most, Gangaram was a crocodile.
Bawa Mohtara village in Bemetara District, gave a heroe’s funeral to Gangaram. The reptile had been living in the village’s pond since a time when the participants in his funeral were not even born. His age was around 130 years.
Despite living in the village’s pond, where most of the residents used to take their bath, Gangaram never disturbed anyone. The sarpanch (village head), Mohan Sahu says that the crocodile never harmed anyone even when they swam near him, instead he was very fond of children. According to the villagers, Gangaram used to eat only what he was given by them.
After the reptile died in the village pond, the grief-stricken residents took out its funeral procession and did not cook food that day. They also decided to set up a memorial on the pond’s bank where it was buried, Mohan Sahu told PTI, adding that they were also thinking of constructing a temple in its memory.
The 3.4 metre-long crocodile was found dead on Tuesday in the village pond, following which locals informed the forest department and the carcass was taken out of water, he said.
Praising the villagers’ affection for the crocodile, Bemetara’s sub-divisional officer of forest R K Sinha said they have set a good example of “human-animal coexistence”, when people generally maintain a distance from carnivores.
“After getting information about its death, the forest personnel went there and a post mortem was conducted by veterinarians,” he said.
The animal, estimated to be around 130 years old and weighing about 250 kg, died of natural causes, Sinha said.
“After the autopsy, the carcass was handed over to the villagers as they wanted to perform it final rites,” he added.