Phichit – Fishermen at this lower northern province spotted an emaciated crocodile in the well-known Bung Sifai swamp that had fallen sick after eating plastic bottles and other trash tourists threw in there, PostToday reported this afternoon (June 20, 2020).
Mr Wattana Riewthong, director of Freshwater Aquaculture Research and Development Centre Region 3 (Phichit), Fisheries Department, confirmed that this skinny long-necked crocodile whose photos are being widely shared on social media does really exit.
That it is scrawny is because it has been eating plastic bottles and other foreign objects tourists have carelessly thrown into the swamp. Lately it has not been seen at this swamp but it could be hiding somewhere as is the nature of these amphibian animals.
This swamp, which covers 12,100 rai and is this province’s landmark, currently has 84 crocs both big and small with the oldest being 20 years of age. The big ones weigh around 300 kilogrammes..
“I want to confirm that the Freshwater Aquaculture Research and Development Centre Region 3 (Phichit) gives importance to taking good care of crocodiles because they are the province’s symbol.
“Yet the budget to buy food for them is just 5,000 baht a year. We give them chicken carcass but once they have eaten they can last seven day, there is no need to feed them everyday.
“If anyone wants to help feed these crocs, please call and inform in advance at 086-4490270 during official working days and hours.
“The swamp’s water is green because these crocs get stressed when we change it and besides these amphibian animals can live in this greenish water,” Mr Wattana said.
Bung Sifai is usually open to tourists but had to close down due to the coronavirus pandemic. As it is a bit dilapidated, the Phicit city municipality and this centre are jointly renovating it to reopen for tourism again on July 1.
Top: The skinny long-necked croc that fell sick after eating lots of plastic bottles and other trash.Thai headline says, “Thin because it is sick.” Photo: INN News