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Authorities search for escaped crocodiles in flood-hit Thailand

10-11-2011 16:39 BJT

BANGKOK, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- With about 100 crocodiles escaping from a flooded farm in flood-hit province and inundated zoos, Thai authorities are working hard to rescue them, Bangkok Post online reported on Tuesday.

About 100 crocodiles escaped on Sunday when Crocodile Farm in central province of Uthai Thani was inundated by floods.

The Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department has sought to calm fears that the animals may attack people as it said crocodiles raised in captivity have no instinct to attack humans.

Thirapat Prayoonsit, the department's deputy chief, said most of the escaped crocodiles are young and less than a metre long. They prefer to live in still water and avoid strong currents. However, to calm fears, the department will cooperate fully with the Fishery Department in efforts to catch the crocodiles.

"Please do not panic. The crocodiles are not fierce like those living in the wild. On the contrary, they are rather scared of people," Bangkok Post online quoted Thirapat as saying.

The authorities are now working with crocodile farm experts to catch the escaped crocodiles back. The farms are ready to buy the crocodiles at 3,000 baht each, report says.

There are about 30 crocodile farms countrywide, plus 900 small crocodile breeding operators. Thailand is considered the world's biggest crocodile breeder, with more than 200,000 crocodiles in captivity nationwide, according to the department.

Also The Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department on Monday tried to evacuate five tigers living in Crocodile Farm Uthai Thani but three of them drowned. The other two were moved to a wildlife center in central province of Ratchaburi.

Nantarika Chansue, president of the Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarian Society of Thailand, said the veterinarian group has already assigned 200 vets to rescue wild animals affected by floods.

She added that most of the animals are suffering from water- borne diseases and need the help of experts.

A total of 269 people were killed and four people missing in the floods that have inundated the upper part of the country for almost three months.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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