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Crocodiles not starving at Phuket tourist attraction, officials confirm

Crocodiles not starving at Phuket tourist attraction, officials confirm

PHUKET: The owner and operator of a Phuket crocodile tourist attraction that was forced to close during the pandemic has refuted allegations that the crocodiles still on site are neglected to the point that they are starving and eating each other.

animalsSafetytourism
By Eakkapop Thongtub

Friday 8 July 2022, 10:13AM


The response, supported by officers from the Department of Fisheries who have inspected the venue, Phuket Crocodile World on Chao Fa West Rd in Chalong, follows the allegation being posted online through TikTok, which also alleged that the crocodiles had been abandoned.

Sittiphon Muangsong of the Phuket Fisheries Office, inspecting the venue in person yesterday (July 7), explained that all crocodiles on site must be registered with his office.

The crocodile “farm” when opening some seven years ago had initially registered 32 crocodiles, of which four had died over the years.

The remaining 28 were not suffering in health, Mr Sittiphon said. “We can see they are not thin,” he noted.

The allegation followed the operator posting online an open invitation for members of the public to come and see the crocodiles for free, despite the venue still being closed as a tourist attraction.

People were also invited to bring food for the crocodiles.

“Aunt Kaew”, who still serves as the caretaker of the venue explained, “If no one comes to feed the crocodiles, the owner will bring the food himself. But now we think this is better than the crocodiles staying alone, so we allow people to come and see them for free.”

The venue is open from about 8-9am to about 5-6pm each day, but the lights are usually switched off to save money, “Aunt Kaew” added.

“If possible, I want a lot of people to come and see the crocodiles so they will not be lonely,” she said.

Sakul Nganwiwatthaworn, owner of Phuket Crocodile World, said he understood why people might think that the crocodiles had been abandoned, with the electricity at the site switched off, but refused the allegation that the crocodiles were being neglected.

Blue Tree Phuket

“They are always fed and taken care of, but tourists come to see the state of the place and think of it as abandoned. We actually feed them regularly and regularly change the water,” he said.

His caretaker, “Aunt Kaew”, is in regular contact with Department of Fisheries officers, he added.

“We talk with the officers once a month, and officers often come and bring food,” Mr Sakul explained.

“The crocodiles are not starving,” Mr Sakul said.

However, Mr Sakul did offer the crocodiles as available for sale.

“The big ones cost about B10,000 each, and the small ones sell for B1,000 baht each. There are 28 crocodiles now. But if you don’t want to buy one, you can save your money and come and see them for free,” he added.

Mr Sittiphon of the Phuket Fisheries Office pointed out that he had asked Mr Sakul to improve safety at the venue by posting more signs to warn visitors of the crocodiles.

“If anyone comes to see the crocodiles they must contact the staff first for their own safety, otherwise it may be dangerous for them,” he said.

“But if you look at the crocodile pond, they cannot escape. The area is in the right place and is stable and strong. Crocodiles cannot escape from here,” he added.

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Kurt | 09 July 2022 - 14:10:10

A crocodile tourist attractions with for crocodiles normal habitat doesn't need more than 3-4 crocs. 'Attractions' looks like a croc sales business cover up. Are private people in Thailand allowed to buy/keep a croc? Probably they are for sale to becomes exclusive handbags , shoes. And meat for exotic restaurant dishes. Any other purpose suggestions?

Kurt | 09 July 2022 - 14:00:02

The crocodiles are not lonely. They are with 28 in for crocodile welfare to small accommodation.  These crocs have a miserable life. Google what crocs need to have a normal croc life. Google same time about needs of elephants .

JohnC | 09 July 2022 - 08:49:41

Come and see the crocodiles so they will not be lonely?? Is this woman serious? Crocs for sale?? Who would buy them? Watch out for special croc menus at popular restaurants that cater to the exotic.

Capricornball | 08 July 2022 - 15:46:46

So, these animals were hijacked from their natural habitat so the owner can scalp people (dual priced, I'm sure) to come see them in their concrete pens. But now we can come see for free if we help feed them. These animal shows should all be shut down, as most civilized people in the world won't patronize this archaic and obsolete entertainment.

Kurt | 08 July 2022 - 13:23:33

Thai ignore well being of all animals.  In their thinking about animals, these are just a 'profit making product'. Look at the poor elephants on Phuket. Never have a pool session, never have a mud bath. Both so normal and essential for elephants. Social animals cruel chained at distance of each other on Phuket. Shame on Phuket Thai officialdom to allow all this by just looking other way. 

DeKaaskopp | 08 July 2022 - 13:15:02

@Kurt   Buy them all and look after them.Problem solved.

Kurt | 08 July 2022 - 11:54:07

Thailand, the global hub of animal captivity cruelty. Come, experience it, and compare it with Zoo's in western countries and Singapore. Here animals in cages, behind bars, a total refusal of animal needs, space for species behavior.

Fascinated | 08 July 2022 - 10:51:28

Using animals, be they alligators, elephants or tigers as tourist lures is barbaric. About time all these venues were closed

christysweet | 08 July 2022 - 10:32:46

Or, they are not thin becuse they are eating each other? if there are 28 crocs left, how much are they eating- and what are they eating? Croc Chow? 

 

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