Croc Watch: Phuket beachgoers warned against swimming as evasive crocodile remains on move

As the wild goose chase for Phuket’s most elusive crocodile continues, Phuket authorities have advised tourists against swimming at all beaches until le lacoste is caught.

Well, crikey, that’s not what you (or local businesses) want to hear during a beach vacation.  

The two-meter reptile, which was first seen near Rawai beach last Wednesday, has avoided capture multiple times, including its latest sighting on Monday night.

The creature was reportedly seen swimming towards Phuket’s Tri Trang beach in another attempt to come ashore. However, it reportedly got spooked by the number of people on the beach and scurried away before authorities could make a move, reported Workpoint.

No one has spotted the croc since.

While officials of the Southern Freshwater Fisheries Prevention and Suppression Center, who are leading the croc hunt, are stationed around the clock on different Phuket beaches, authorities cannot predict when and where it will emerge again, hence the “no swimming in all beaches” advisory.

Phuket Governor Norrapat Plodthong said he plans to charge the owner of the crocodile if it turns out to be an escaped pet.

After checking the five registered crocodile farms in the area, they are confident the rogue croc belongs to a local.

Owning protected wildlife without permission or registration is a violation of the Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act. The owner is liable to one year in prison and/or a fine of up to THB10,000 (about US$3,000).

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