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The crocodiles moved from the Statue of Unity, angry environmentalists Officials have begun removing hundreds of crocodiles from the world's largest statue in India, provoking protest by environmentalists and fears of reptilian welfare.



(CNN) – Officials have begun removing hundreds of crocodiles from the world's largest statue in India.

The crocodiles are moved to allow a seaplane to transport tourists to the Statue of Unity, a statue with a height of 597 meters, which was opened in Gujarat in October, AFP reported.

At least 15 have already been attracted to metal cells and moved to another location in an Indian state, the Indian Express reports, with hundreds still staying in the waters around the landmark.

But the operation is criticized by nature conservationists and politicians

  The statue is twice as high as the statue of freedom.

The statue is twice as high as the statue of freedom.

SAM PANTHAKY / AFP / AFP / Getty Images

"Have we collectively lost our minds?" Bittu Sahgal, editor of Sanctuary Asia magazine, wrote in response to the story.

"As any ecologist will tell you, it's pure madness!" Indian journalist and activist Pritis Nandy added while others were questioning whether this move was contrary to wildlife conservation laws in the country.

Crocodiles are a protected species in India listed in Appendix 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act in the country, which means they can not be moved unless the government determines that it is "necessary to improve and better manage the wildlife in it. "

Local State Forest Officer Anuradha Sahu said the state government has ordered the move "for safety reasons as the tourist influx has increased", according to AFP.

But the Indian Mahilla Congress, the women's wing of the opposition party of the Indian National Congress, said the move showed that Prime Minister Narendra Mody's government "is holding the environment again." responded to CNN's request for comment.

The towering statue of unity depicts Sardar Valabbhai Patel, a popular political and social community. Leader who was part of the fight for freedom that led to the independence of India from the British colonial rule in 1947

Two times the height of the Statue of Liberty, estimated, cost more than $ 410 million to rise.

Indian building workers based on the statue.

SAM PANTHAKY / AFP / AFP / Getty Images

Widely perceived as a personal project by Modi, who announced the plans in 2010 and officially unveiled a statue in October.

But the transport links to the site located in a remote part of the Narmada region, about 100 kilometers from Ahmedabad, are limited, with most tourists

The government finalizes three seaplane routes in the region in June to improve access.


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