Friday, January 6, 2012

Crocodile Farms, Part 1-A: After The Floods

Apichart Weerawong photo from the Nonthaburi area

There was a comment left yesterday asking whether the Samut Prakarn farm was open after the flooding in October and November. The short answer is "I don't know", but after doing some research this morning it doesn't appear as though they had a problem during the flooding and I'm guessing they're open now. My suggestion would be to call their numbers, though: 02-2703-4891-5 or 02-2703-5144-8

During the floods a couple of months ago there were several stories about widespread crocodile and venomous snake problems in Bangkok, and although I'd read them I figured they were more tabloid journalism than accurate news; you know what I mean - that "Crocodile eats three in Bangkok!" kind of reporting that turns out to be one crocodile eating three chickens on a small farm.

Image from the internet
There are estimated to be 3,000+ crocodile farms in Thailand, but most of those are small independent operations more concerned with trapping and re-selling the creatures than they are viewing places.  As I understand it those places weren't so much the problem as was the rising and Southbound flood waters themselves that carried the animals from the wilds to habituated areas, but that's unfounded speculation and there probably were escapees from the smaller places.

Monitor lizards are sometimes reported as crocodiles, too, and while they will give a nasty bite if tested they don't go after humans, as a rule.  If they were a genuine menace they'd be a concern in Lumpini Park where they laze around in full view at water's edge, but they're not.

According to the Bangkok Post there were two crocodiles shot and six others captures in Bang Bua Thong (near Nonthaburi, on the Northern outskirts of Bangkok) but the danger of the flooding came more from electrocutions, submerged hazards and contaminated water than it did from the reptiles. A major tourist attraction like the Samut Prakarn farm was undoubtedly protected by sandbagging and other barriers, and in the interest of revenue I'd say they must already be cleaned up and in operation, but you might call them and see if you're planning a trip out there now at the beginning of January. If you find out, let us know in the comments section below.  Their main numbers are 02-2703-4891-5 and 02-2703-5144-8.

Another Apichart Weerawong photo from Nonthaburi area

Apologies on the detour, but it was a valid question - and since it's High Season and some of you may be in Bangkok considering a visit I felt it deserved an answer sooner rather than later.

Back to the main topic on Monday. See you back here then.

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