Blind circus crocodile caught after 5 day chase in Thailand

A blind show crocodile escaped on its way to the circus and made a break for it into the Ping River in Nakhon Sawan province in central Thailand on Friday.

Crocodile catchers were hot on the croc’s heels but the 2.8-metre-long beast just wouldn’t surrender. Five days later, the female croc – who is nicknamed “Blindy” – was finally caught and marched back to the zoo last night.

On Friday, Blindy the Crocodile escaped from her cage in the back of a truck as the crocodilian performance troupe were travelling for work. The escapee croc sauntered into the Ping river, one of two main tributaries to the Chaophraya.

Being blind, Blindy was at a bit of a disadvantage. The crocodile catchers soon found her hiding in the forest near the river’s edge about 100 metres away from where she fell out of the truck.

After trying and failing to catch the absconding reptile for three days, the search party urged on the side of caution. They said the one-eyed crocodile would get more aggressive the longer she went without food.

The team lay out nine pieces of raw chicken – irresistible for Blindy – and set a snare trap. But the crocodile didn’t fall for it.

The team changed their tactics and released live chickens into the forest in the hopes of luring Blindy into the trap. But Blindy is blind, not stupid.

Yesterday, the team made a plan to shoot Blindy with a fish harpoon with a buoy attached to it so they could clearly see where she was hiding.

At 9pm, Blindy was spotted swimming across the Ping River, so the team took their chance and harpooned her.

The team caught Blindy with a net, which took 15 people and around 30 minutes to complete.

The crocodile was taken to the Nakhon Sawan Freshwater Fisheries Research and Development Centre for a checkup, given her sudden change of environment, lack of food and harpoon injury.

Blindy will be quarantined from other crocodiles in the troupe under close watch. Then she will return to the troupe and be gawped at by tourists once more.

Earlier this week, a fisherman discovered a severed crocodile head at a reservoir in Chon Buri province. Its body is believed to have been eaten by local people.

Thai LifeThailand News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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