Thai teams on Tuesday captured 22 crocodiles that had escaped from a flooded farm near a popular beach resort and were hunting for more of the missing reptiles.
The animals escaped the Million Year Stone Park and Crocodile Farm in Pattaya, 100 kilometres south-east of Bangkok, after heavy rain triggered a flood that washed through the tourist attraction Monday.
“We don’t know how many are still missing but I’m confident that we can catch them all because these animals aren’t used to finding food for themselves,” farm spokesman Suthawudh Temthab said.
About 100 employees were sent to hunt the crocodiles down.
The largest of the recaptured reptiles, identified as Jao Yai, weighed more than 400 kilograms and was three metres long.
“Jao Yai was found nearby,” Suthawudh said. “He was making his way back to the farm himself.”
The farm is a commercial establishment dealing in crocodile skin and meat, with about 2 800 of the reptiles.
Thailand has been hit by unusually heavy monsoon rains over the past two months that have claimed at least 87 lives. The victims include French tourist Remi Huet, 34, who was swept away Saturday while bicycling near a waterfall in Prachinburi province, 100
kilometres north-east of the capital.
On Friday, heavy rains triggered floods and mudslides in three villages in Nam Phad district, Uttaradit province, 430 kilometres north of Bangkok, killing at least five people and destroying 41 homes.
According to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, this year’s monsoon rains have affected more than 570 000 people in 16 provinces.
Thailand’s rainy season lasts from May to October.