HomeOutdoorsNewsHundreds of Starving Crocodiles Eat Each Other Following Farm Owner’s Death

Hundreds of Starving Crocodiles Eat Each Other Following Farm Owner’s Death

by Caitlin Berard
Large Group of Crocodiles on a Farm
(Photo by Westend61 via Getty Images)

Crocodiles aren’t typically cannibals, but after months of starvation, hunger eventually turns to desperation. Such an incident occurred to an extreme degree when hundreds of crocodiles were abandoned on a Thailand farm following the farm owner’s death.

A farm owner responsible for the care of 190 crocodiles on a farm in southern Thailand died suddenly last year. This left the caged crocodiles, bred for leather products, without a food source.

During last year’s monsoon season, which runs between July and October, several of the crocodiles escaped the death trap. Residents in a nearby village were terrified of the sudden onslaught of hungry predators, but the crocs were desperate for safety.

Sadly, the vast majority of the animals remained trapped on the farm, unable to escape and with no one to care for them. Many of those unable to break free of their unsanitary pens died as a result of starvation and lack of care. In a last-ditch effort to survive, the remaining crocodiles fed on the decaying remains.

Wildlife officials eventually discovered the gruesome scene at the farm. They found the murky green pools filled with crocodile corpses in varying stages of decomposition. The farm was so neglected that it was difficult to see into the crocs’ enclosures, the bars covered in a thick layer of tall grass and tangled vines.

According to officials, around half of the crocodiles perished from neglect. Of the 190 crocs housed at the farm, about 100 remained.

The Fate of the Farm Crocodiles Remains Uncertain

Phirat Tangsukcharoenkun, the legal officer of Songkhla Provincial Fisheries Office who inspected the farm, reported that a private company hired the farm owner. The contract stipulated that the farmer would raise the crocodiles until they reached the age of two. At this point, they would be skinned for leather.

The wildlife official added that their office is currently working with the company to find a solution. They reportedly contacted the private company to arrange for care of the crocodiles. The company, however, refused responsibility, claiming the farm owner still legally owned the reptiles.

This was a horrific situation for the farm crocodiles all around. Those who managed to escape met their demise anyway, as locals feared for their safety.

“After the crocodiles broke out, village headmen had to get rid of them. There were a lot of children in the community and the crocodiles were hungry and might harm them,” Lieutenant Amorn Putkong told the Daily Star. “While they were stuck in the farm, they started attacking each other and feeding on the other dead crocodiles.”

According to the local village headsman, this wasn’t the first incident to indicate poor care for the crocs. Even before their owner died, the reptiles broke out of their enclosures at least four times.