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Happy holiday snaps: the crocodile in the water off Phuket

Phuket Tourists Warned of Holiday Snaps

Monday, November 4, 2013
PHUKET: Tourists have been advised not to swim at Phuket's northern beaches after a three-metre crocodile was spotted in the water yesterday.

The sighting came at Mai Khao beach about 3pm and was confirmed by authorities using zoom binoculars.

So far, there's no explanation for the appearance of the crocodile, although some escaped from a farm in Phang Nga, the province north of Phuket, earlier this year.

Dolphins and turtles are more likely to be spotted off Phuket. A crocodile in the water has never been reported before.

Phuket's waters are free from sharks of any consequence and box jellyfish have also never been spotted in large numbers.

Resorts at Mai Khao and beaches to the north of Phuket have been advised to warn their guests of the dangers of swimming just now.

Some of Phuket's most highly regarded five-star resorts are along Mai Khao beach. Any sightings of the croc should be reported to authorities on 076 348526.

Comments

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I hope they catch this thing, and make it snappy.

Posted by phonus balonus on November 4, 2013 09:36

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On my first visit to Phuket in 1977 we were warned to take care in Phang Nga Bay as saltwater crocodiles were still occasionally spotted. As the water temp and climate are perfect there is no reason why crocodiles wouldn't be in the area. The only control was almost certainly overhunting. Certainly in the deep south reports of fishermen being attacked is not unusual.
Tom

Posted by tom on November 4, 2013 10:50

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"Phuket's waters are free from sharks of any consequence"

Sad but true, there is not much larger marine life left in the Andaman sea these days...

Posted by seb on November 4, 2013 12:33

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"Sad but true, there is not much larger marine life left in the Andaman sea these days..."
While we see less sharks than there used to be, so I presume there are less, there are still quite a few around. But none of these are dangerous to humans, which is what the article was referring to.

Posted by stevenl on November 4, 2013 14:08

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We have "sharks" on land, crocs in the sea and if they don't get you then the speedboats will.

Posted by DSI Watcher on November 4, 2013 17:57

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Perfect... Please release more crocodiles into the sea in order to have less illegal businesses and resorts straight on Phuket Beaches.
they will be the best guards against land-grabbers.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on November 4, 2013 17:59

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One of my dive customers staying at Mai Khao was telling me about this today. He was warned not to enter the water.

I have a photo of a small, dead, crocodile a friend of mine took while diving at Raya Yai about 2 years ago. About 1.5m.

Posted by NomadJoe on November 4, 2013 22:06

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Saltwater crocodiles are native to Phuket and the rest of coastal Thailand, they were just hunted to extinction a few decades ago. This crocodile almost certainly has swum from a nearby country that still has wild crocodiles - Myanmar, Malaysia or Indonesia all still have saltwater crocodile populations and they often swim hundreds and even thousands of kilometers at see in search of new territory. This has even allowed a small population of crocodiles to recolonize Singapore! They should NOT catch this crocodile, ecotourism with wild crocodiles could be a huge economic benefit to Thailand and Phang Nga Bay still has beautiful crocodile habitat available.

Posted by Brandon on November 5, 2013 03:15

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I had a crocodile burger once. It was a succulent taste of chicken and fish...

Posted by Skoota on November 5, 2013 07:40

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If you surf off the coast of Sri Lanks there are many crocs in the water with you ... ask Terry Reynolds at Los Amigos Mexican restaurant here at Nai Harn beach .. if you don't believe me

Posted by Andy on November 5, 2013 09:36

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@Brandon, although what you say is ecologically and enviromentally correct, these poor crocs will be hunted until either captured or killed. Why, well it comes down to money, no one wants a holiday where today they swim and tomorrow they are crocodile poo. Although there would be tourists who may come to see crocs, there are far more who come for the beach. The fear of being eaten would keep many away. Thailand has already, almost, made the wild populations of tigers, elephants and many monkey species extinct, already extinct are leopards (yes they where in Thailand, in fact even on Phuket) and some monkey species, these crocs have no chance.

Posted by DSI Watcher on November 5, 2013 10:55

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@DSI Watcher- I understand exactly what you are saying; I suppose I was more wishfully thinking. With such an emphasis on kayak tourism in Phang Nga Bay it would be impossible to reintroduce the saltwater crocodile (large individuals occasionally view kayaks as rival males or struggling animals). My mind just thinks of how beautiful it would be to see some amazing crocs basking amidst the beautiful rock formations and mangroves of Phang Nga Bay, like it would have been a century ago.

@Andy- You are absolutely right about Sri Lanka, I was at the Crocodile Specialist Group meeting there this year, saltwater crocodiles still exist along the southwestern and southeastern/eastern coasts. They also exist in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands in the Andaman Sea. One note- there "might" be a small Thai saltwater crocodile population remaining in Ranong along the border with Myanmar, but it has not yet been confirmed.

Posted by Brandon on November 5, 2013 17:43

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Brandon,

Yes I was thinking the same when I was with John Gray, thought about getting a few small ones from Indonesia and releasing in one of the hongs away from the fishermen up north,
We did a program a few years back with Mark O Shea in search of crocs unfortunately did not find any only the skull of a very large one in Turatoa

Posted by Michael on November 6, 2013 02:15

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The way things are goi ng in Phuket and Thailand in general, we should be more worried ab out what's happening outside of the water.

Posted by Steve L. on November 7, 2013 15:36

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Box Jellyfish don't have to be spotted in large numbers to be dangerous. It just takes one to kill.

All residents should learn how to respond to a Jellyfish sting. Firstly, peeing on it does not help. Secondly, fresh water rinse exacerbates the seriousness. Thirdly, ample vinegar rinse followed with an immediate visit to the ER is essential. The vinegar aids to neutralize the sting.

I hope this croc is removed soon.

Posted by C&C on November 8, 2013 15:14

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I have been said to the Volunteers maybe no longer patrol Patong, they have no help from Thai Police, without them Patong will go bad just like it was before, no good for tourist and good Thai people. Shame to local Police for not looking after them

Posted by Expat on November 11, 2013 10:06

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Cherng Telay Or Bor tor is announcing today Nov 12 over the loudspeaker system about 1 PM, that a croc is spotted off Bang Tao, and down in Kata ( or was it Karon)

Posted by Christy S on November 12, 2013 19:47

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Any source for reference Christy?

Posted by Harald on November 16, 2013 10:24

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Harald,
This is what my Thai workers tell me the announcement said. They also remarked this info was on local Thai TV. When I asked if it was just for the one sighting at Mai Khao a few days prior they said no, announcement was for three crocs sighted in all, Mai Khao, Bang Tao and further south at Kata or Karon.

Posted by Christy S. on November 16, 2013 17:40


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