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Published on : Monday, July 18, 2016
Several holidaymakers, mostly Chinese citizens, could be seen aboard a make-shift cage that was kept afloat with plastic barrels just inches from the 10ft long killer reptiles.
Fragile canes were used to dangle lumps of meat to feed the crocodiles. The crocodiles are seen leaping from the water to snatch their food, which makes it all the more dangerous.
Pictures taken by shocked motorcycle-taxi rider Jon Nok show hundreds of crocodiles circling the raft in a pond used for crocodile farming at the Elephant Kingdom in Chonburi, Thailand. The images went viral as soon as it was posted on social media. This had sparked the police and the government officials to run to the spot and shut down the site immediately. Social media users were stunned by the activity – with some saying it was cruel to tease the crocodiles by dangling food then pulling it away.
It is believed that the activity has been popular with Chinese tourists for a number of years but few local Thai residents – or the authorities – knew about it. Uthen Youngprapakorn, owner of the tourist attraction which is part of a crocodile farm, said that he had offered the rides on the cage after growing demand from Chinese tourists.
The Fisheries Department has suspended the crocodile farming license of the farm for 90 days for officials to check safety.