3m-long crocodile seeks 'forever home' after being captured near Phuket tourist beach: Report

3m-long crocodile seeks 'forever home' after being captured near Phuket tourist beach: Report

Croc Phuket beach
Video of the crocodile showed it swimming near Bang Tao beach. (Image: Phuket Gazette)

PHUKET: A huge 3m-long crocodile has been captured in Phuket, Thailand following a two-day hunt and is now seeking a "forever home", local media reported on Friday (Sep 1).

The reptile, which is reportedly a two-year-old male and weighs more than 200kg, was cornered in a coastal marsh near Lepang beach before dawn on Friday, hours after the hunt first began at around 8pm on Thursday, the Bangkok Post reported.

One of the hunters, Nikom Suksawat, told the Bangkok Post that the crocodile had slipped through the hunters' nets twice before it was finally caught. Additional nets had to be brought in before the crocodile could be captured.

Speaking to the Phuket News, Suksawat said that the crocodile had initially collided with a boat being used by the hunters and managed to escape after making a hole in the net.

"In the end we had to use five fishing nets to catch the crocodile without hurting it," he said. "The crocodile is about three metres long, but we are not yet sure if it is a freshwater or seawater crocodile."

An official from the Phuket Fisheries Department told the Phuket News that the crocodile was "not very fierce, in fact it was rather playful and clever".

"It did not want to go near the land as it knew it was going to be caught. We had to be very careful with it,” he said.

The capture comes after video circulating online showed a large crocodile swimming in the sea near Bang Tao beach. According to the Bangkok Post, the footage was captured by the drone of an Australian tourist on Aug 25 and was uploaded on Tuesday.

The crocodile is now in a rehabilitation pond at the Phuket Coastal Aquatic Animals Development Centre, according to the Phuket Gazette.

Paiboon Bunlipatanon, head of the Phuket Fisheries Office, told the Phuket Gazette the case would be filed to the Fisheries Department in Bangkok to discuss where the crocodile could find a "forever home" or a suitable reptile zoo.

Source: CNA/nc