One of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Orissa, Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary is the hunting grounds of the erstwhile ruler of Kanika region. The sanctuary is heaven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers as it is also India’s second largest mangrove ecosystem. Some of the popular attractions in Bhitarkanika are the colorful migratory birds, Olive ridley sea-turtles, peaceful ambiance, huge crocodiles, lush mangroves and meandering rivers. The park spreads in an area of 145 square kilometers.
During wildlife safari and boat safari inside Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary, one can spot 55 mangrove animal species, sambar, hyena, leopard cat, python, chitals, king cobra. spotted deer, water monitor lizard, wild boar, jackals, rhesus monkeys jungle cat, partially white crocodile and so on. The park has as many as 215 avifauna species (indigenous as well as migratory) including brahminy duck, kingfisher, hornbill, white bellied sea gull, egrets, black ibis, darters, cormorants, Asian open bill, etc.