Over a week since more than 100 crocodiles escaped from their flooded crocodile farms in Ayutthaya, Thai authorities are worried. Few have been caught and several have been seen lurking about in the waters of the flooded town. The Public Health Minister says it’s important these crocodiles are caught soon, before they inflict injuries (or worse) on residents of the town. So, they’ve instituted a reward of 1,000 baht (around $33.50) per crocodile. If captured alive.
While the Public Health Minister seems to think these rewards are safe enough to offer, to us it all seems a little odd. After all, if you’re already concerned about the dangers of escaped crocodiles, why would you send ineperienced towns folks off on a crocodile hunt?Particularly when so many of them need the money and will need it even more when Ayutthaya’s flooding subsides and money is needed for renovation and repairs.
1,000 baht might not seem like much to most westerners, and many Thais, but for working class Thais, 1,000 baht ($33.50) is more than the salary they would make for three days work. Worth getting injured while trying to capture a croc? Unfortunately, for many, yes, it is.
If you are in Ayutthaya and do see a crocodile, you can however report it and claim a reward without putting your life at risk. Just call the hotline number inside Thailand — 1362, then wait around to tell authorities what you saw and where you saw it.