Crocodile farmer torn to pieces by 40 of his own reptiles

One of the crocodiles chewing on Luan Nam's shoe - ViralPress
One of the crocodiles chewing on Luan Nam's shoe - ViralPress

A crocodile farmer was torn to pieces by 40 of his reptiles after falling into their enclosure.

The president of the local crocodile association was trying to move one animal out of its cage when it grabbed the stick he was using as a goad with its jaws and pulled him in.

Luan Nam, 72, was set upon by the crocodiles in Siem Reap, Cambodia, where the reptiles are farmed for their eggs, skin and meat.

Nam’s body was recovered from the cage, where the crocodile had laid eggs, but his arm was torn off and eaten by animals.

His corpse was covered in bite marks, police said after the accident at about 5am on Friday.

He fell from one of the walkways positioned over the animals’ enclosure, which was left soaked in blood.

“While he was chasing a crocodile out of an egg-laying cage, the crocodile attacked the stick, causing him to fall into the enclosure,” Mey Savry, police chief of Siem Reap commune, told AFP.

“Then other crocodiles pounced, attacking him until he was dead,” he said.

Commune chief May Sameth said Nam’s family had urged him to stop farming crocodiles for years and might now sell his stock.

Disturbing photos from the scene showed large crocodiles in the blood-drenched concrete enclosure, with one photo showing one chewing on a shoe.

Luan Nam - ViralPress
Luan Nam - ViralPress

Nam’s body was seen covered in a sheet, with distressed women nearby. Another photo shows a group of crocodiles surrounding the man’s dead body.

Nam was from Po Banteay Chey village within the Siem Reap commune, outside of Cambodia’s second largest city.

In 2019, a two-year-old was killed and eaten by crocodiles at her family’s reptile farm in the same village.

There are a number of crocodile farms around Siem Reap, which is home to the famous ruins of Angkor Wat.

The crocodiles are sold for export to the Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese markets and the skin is used to make leather. There is also a lucrative trade in their eggs and hatchlings.

It is not clear what kind of crocodiles killed Mr Nam but Cambodia is home to the Siamese crocodile, which are medium-sized, live in salt water and are known for their aggression.

Saltwater crocodiles have the strongest bite of any animal. They can slam their jaws shut with 3,700 pounds per square inch of bite force.

Lions and tigers can only manage 1,000 pounds.

Crocodile attacks on humans are rare but the animals are territorial and can become aggressive if provoked.

The remains of a missing 65-year-old fisherman were found inside two crocodiles in Australia in early May. The crocodiles, which were killed by police, measured 13.5ft and 9ft. Kevin Darmody was last seen at a popular saltwater habitat in northern Queensland. Only his flip flops were found by the river bank.

In February this year, a father of three was eaten alive by a crocodile, as his seven friends watched on helplessly. Farmhand Marvin Susa, 36, a Filipino national, was fishing in Semporna City in Sabah, Malaysia, on the afternoon of January 29. As he tried to free a snagged fishing line, a crocodile lunged from the water, bit his leg and dragged him into the depths.

In 2017, Paul McClean, a British journalist for the Financial Times, was killed in a crocodile attack while on holiday in Sri Lanka. The 24-year-old had gone to wash his hands in a lagoon when he was attacked.