Friendly frogs draw tourists to temple

AYUDHAYA: Tourists have been flocking to a temple in the old capital district to get close to a group of tame frogs that have taken up residence in a lotus pond.

The frogs sit happily on lotus leaves, allowing tourists to stroke and play with them. They even allow photos to be taken, free-of-charge.

Phrakhrupradit Kijjarak, 46, the abbot of Wat Rachpraditthan in Phra Nakhon Sri Ayudhaya District, said the temple’s frog community started out with two baby golden frogs that appeared in the lotus pond around the end of Buddhist lent in October. As the frogs grew, more and more of the little amphibians came to live in the pool. By the time news of the tame frogs broke on December 22, there were nine of them living in the pool.

Monks began to feed the frogs fish food. Soon, the frogs became used to the rhythms of temple life and whenever people played music the frogs would come and sit on the edge of the pond to listen and croak along, Phrakhrupradit said.

When monks come to feed them, they sit patiently on the lotus leaves to wait for their fish pellets. The abbot added that he thought the frogs had felt safe and happy in the temple pond and so invited their friends to come and live there too. Now it is as if the frogs are temple students, Phrakhrupradit said.

The day after the story of the frogs was published in the Thai press, around 500 tourists came to pet the animals. Word seems to have reached Ayudhaya’s amphibian community as well: the following day the flock of frogs had grown to 12.

Surapha Prachusap, a teacher from Lopburi who brought her students to see the frogs, said they were incredibly tame. Mrs Surapha added that she believes the frogs feel happy and content as Thai temples are known for providing shelter to animals.

Phrakhrupradit said if the number of frogs keeps growing, the temple will have to extend the lotus pond so they will all have room to live.

Thailand News
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