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Phuket Opinion: Catching a sight-seeing croc

PHUKET: The island is renowned for its warm welcome to overseas visitors. But as you all know, there has been one amphibian tourist of late that has been received with a little less enthusiasm.

opinionanimalstourismSafety
By The Phuket News

Sunday 5 August 2018, 09:00AM


Where’s she gone? she was here a minute ago. Photo: PR Dept

Where’s she gone? she was here a minute ago. Photo: PR Dept

Apparently crocs like to warm up a little by sunbathing on the beach just like us. And whilst there’s enough leathery-skinned humans around to make the traveller feel quite at home, I bet it didn’t have to pay B250 for a sun lounger.

Our intrepid reptile has been reaping havoc for the authorities, and seemed to be enjoying the game of cat and mouse as it disappeared and remerged along our coastline to foil the ‘protection and surveillance’ capture efforts for so long.

And finally, last Sunday (July 29) after an 11-day search, the elusive beast was captured. Well it certainly took a while, and a more proactive approach may need to be considered for future situations of this nature.

We’ve all been intrigued by where our saltwater celebrity came from. Experts have informed us that this variety can be found around Myanmar or Sumatra, and whilst they can cover great distances in search of food, it’s a difficult journey. They should try getting through immigration.

The other possibility is that it is an escapee from a local farm or other feeding place. This is apparently more likely as they are hybrids of both fresh water and saltwater, and don’t have quite so far to travel.

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The authorities had been setting steel cage traps and chicken bait, but these appeared not to be to our friend’s taste. Phuket Vice Governor Thawornwat Kongkaew informed us that “This is the best way to catch the crocodile and to maintain the image of tourism in Phuket”. With all the recent events Phuket tourism is indeed in desperate need of some positive PR, so the caged animal could just do the trick.

Even an appearance from Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong early last week didn’t lure the beast for a handy publicity shot. Nope, our croc had other interests on the agenda.

But rest easy everyone, the reprobate reptile has been caught, the drama is over. But here’s a plan should a sequel be in the offing.

The Department of Fisheries measured the croc to be about 2.3 metres long, and it was finally caught by net and hand. Really? So why the big fuss?

Next time let’s just all head down to our local beach with an unwanted pet or relative, a net, some chain mail gloves and solve this slippery shenanigans before it literally gets out of hand.

 

 

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Christy Sweet | 06 August 2018 - 08:20:47

If you look behind Layan beach you will find a hundred acres of wetlands that supports all  manner of creatures. This predator is a necessary component and there  is no reason to believe it is not indigenous. With its capture, can I now expect the DLD to deal with the nuisance wild pigs that visit my ranch on occasion depositing mites and diseases ? Or, amend the law so I can kill them? 
 

Kurt | 05 August 2018 - 14:01:40

And the governor again with: ... "to maintain the image of tourisme on Phuket"..
May I ask again:  What image?
We all know that 'image' is not good, there need a lot to be done by governor and officials to give Phuket a pleasant and safe image.

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