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Phuket beach croc’s future still up in the air

Phuket beach croc’s future still up in the air

PHUKET: The crocodile caught offshore from Layan Beach, on Phuket’s west coast, in July remains held at the marine life research centre in Thalang while officials still wait for instructions on where to have the reptile moved, or released, to.

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By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Friday 21 December 2018, 03:26PM


Nearly five months after confirming the crocodile is a saltwater species, officials in Bangkok still have yet to decide on what to do with it. Photo: Phuket Fisheries Dept

Nearly five months after confirming the crocodile is a saltwater species, officials in Bangkok still have yet to decide on what to do with it. Photo: Phuket Fisheries Dept

Phuket Fisheries Chief Kowit Kao-ian confirmed to The Phuket News that his office still has yet to receive official notice of what to do with the crocodile, which was snared by the ‘Kraithong Lumnamtapi’ team of experts from the Department of Fisheries in Surat Thani brought in to especially to catch the reptile after ot had scared tourists as it moved from one popular tourist beach to another – starting at Yanui Beach, then Nai Harn beach, then moving northward along Phuket’s west coast.

The ‘Kraithong Lumnamtapi’ team trapped the female croc in nets near the rocks off Koh Kata, just offshore from Layan Beach, at about 5:30am on July 29.

After a wait of nearly two months, DNA tests confirmed that the crocodile, which local carers have dubbed “Yanui” after the southern Phuket beach where the croc was first spotted, is a saltwater species. (See story here.)

The confirmation, which came on Sept 18, was needed so that officials could determine whether the crocodile should be released back into the wild, or kept in captivity.

However, today, nearly five months later, no information on whether the officials in Bangkok tasked with deciding Yanui’s future have made any progress in making that decision has been forthcoming.

As of early last month, Phuket Fisheries Chief Kowit was still waiting. (See story here.)

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Today, he still waits.

“I am still waiting for an answer from our central office in Bangkok. I have to wait for them to decide what happens before I can do anything,” he told The Phuket News.

“I have no idea why is taking so long,” he added.

Meanwhile, Chief Kowit is happy to report that Yanui is in good health in the “temporary” enclosure at the marine life research centre at Baan Laem Sai in Mai Khao, at the northern end of the island.

“She is still healthy. Her weight is normal. Officials feed her three chickens per week, which is now usual,” he said.

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Kurt | 22 December 2018 - 09:13:56

Almost 6 months captivity, for what? The croc was trapped at sea, confirmed salt water croc. For gods sake. Release the croc where it belongs, in the sea. Keeping it in the infamous way thai keep animals in Zoo's is croc torture. Now 'waiting' for BKK? And so thai Authorities 'work'? What a shame, what a nonsense. Always that paralysing BKK ,  no phuket authority? Childish

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