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Don’t coax crocs, Thai tourists told

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Don’t coax crocs, Thai tourists told | Thaiger

NAKHON RACHASIMA: Authorities at Khao Yai National Park have given a stern warning to tourists, ordering them to stop taunting the park’s pair of two-meter-long crocodiles.

The warning came after officials spotted visitors tempting the beasts with their feet.

The reptiles first hit the headlines last year when they were seen swimming around a waterhole in the park, which is not a natural habitat for crocs.

The pair have since become a tourist attraction in themselves. Park authorities initially planned to catch the animals and take them to another park better suited to their way of life, but as they seemed to be thriving in Khao Yai and not damaging the natural environment, they were allowed to stay.

Now park authorities worry that a tourist could lose a leg or even their lives to the crocodiles.

Khao Yai National Park chief Manot Kanphanakngan described the behavior of some tourists as “very worrying.”

Many tourists stop to try and spot the crocodiles. Often, if the creatures can’t be spotted, tourists dangle their feet into the pond to try and attract them. Others use sticks to hit the water to get the attention of the crocodiles before running away when they approach.

Some foolhardy visitors wait for the crocodiles to approach, then hit them on the head with a stick before fleeing for their lives, Mr Manot said.

The tourists do not know just how dangerous crocodiles can be, he said.

The crocodiles could easily bite off a person’s leg with a single chomp or even rip their heads off.

Humans aren’t the only primates with good reason to stay clear of the crocs.

Recently one of the beasts bit in half a monkey that strayed too close to the water’s edge, he said.

Also worrying is the crocodiles’ habit of coming out to bask near a popular camping area.

Park authorities put up signs warning people not to tease the crocodiles, but may even have to close off that area of the park if visitors continue to disregard the warning.

 

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