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Legendary croc hunters join cast of Phuket drama

Legendary croc hunters join cast of Phuket drama

In another possible idea for a Hollywood movie, “the crocodile hunters of the Tapi River basin” are on the prowl for a three-metre specimen that’s been getting far too comfortable lounging on the beaches of Phuket.


The team from the much less dramatically titled Freshwater Fisheries Suppression and Prevention Centre in Surat Thani prefers to call itself Kraithong Loomnam Tapi.

Kraithong is the hero of a folktale originating in Phichit, who rescues a young woman from the evil clutches of the magical crocodile king Chalawan and slays the reptilian villain in battle.

Kraithong Loomnam Tapi arrived on the scene at 3am on Friday to join the ongoing hunt for the sizeable crocodile that’s been sunbathing on Nai Harn and Yanui beaches, forcing red flags to go up as a warning to visitors.

About 40 Tambon Rawai municipal workers and other officials have been looking for the beast since the first sighting on Wednesday (July 18).

Kraithong Loomnam Tapi leader Nikhom Suksawat suggested changes in the strategy.

They went into the water with fishing nets and then waded back ashore in a bid to snag the croc. In the first attempt, they came across the animal, but it was too fast and got away.

This went on for another three hours and still no result.

Nikhom said the croc needed to be more tired so they could get close enough to chase it onto the beach.

He’s got other tactics in mind to pile the pressure on and wear the reptile out.

Their prey has been a predator, though: The carcass of a large fish washed ashore during the morning with clear signs of being gnawed by a crocodile.

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