“For those who have not registered (their crocodiles) yet, they must urgently notify the province,” Gov Norraphat said.
Crocodiles may be kept as private pets in Thailand, but owners must be issued a permit by the Director-General of the Department of Fisheries, or the Fisheries Department provincial office.
The warning by Governor Norraphat Plodthong today (July 24) comes after the crocodile spotted at Tri Trang Beach just south of Patong yesterday remains unsighted for the past 24 hours – leaving search teams to scour the shore for any sign of the reptile.
It also came as Paisarn Sukpunwan, head of the Administration Department at the Phuket Fishery Office, confirmed that the elsuive crocodile had not escaped from any of the five registered crocodile farms in Phuket.
Apparently, all those crocodiles have been accounted for, leaving Mr Paisarn to say, “We still have not been able to identify where the crocodile came from.”
Mr Paisarn said that from the images he had reviewed he believed the missing crocodile to be no more than 1.5 metres long.
“It is not a big crocodile, and so it will not be as aggressive as a big one,” he said.
Governor Norraphat assured that the search for the crocodile is continuing. “But the search has been made difficult because of strong wind and waves,” he said, despite flat seas at Tri Trang beach yesterday.
Governor Norraphat also warned tourists not to play in the water, or by the water’s edge.
“Officials have been stationed at Tri Trang Beach all the way to (and including) Patong Beach for tourists’ safety,” he added.
Any persons who believe they have seen the crocdile were urged to report the sighting by call 092 -2468366 or 081- 8673664. Both lines are open 24 hours.