Hundreds of hungry crocodiles eat each other after farm owner died

Hundreds of hungry crocodiles started eating each other after they were abandoned on a farm when the owner died.The beasts were left to languish in their enclosures in Songkhla province, southern Thailand when the boss died last year.Villagers asked authorities to handle the creatures, which were being raised to harvest their skins to make handbags, shoes, wallets, purses and belts.With no one to feed them, the reptiles began breaking out of their cages and terrorising residents, especially during the rainy season. They also started turning on each other.A few unlucky crocodiles were unable to escape their pens and died, leaving behind their decaying remains in pools which the other reptiles began feeding on. Phirat Tangsukcharoenkun, legal officer of Songkhla Provincial Fisheries Office, inspected the farm on February 27 and found it covered in tall grass and tangled vines. He said that from an estimated 190 crocodiles, the number dwindled to around 100. Phirat added that a private company in Chonburi had hired the farm owner to raise crocodiles until they were two years old, after which they were skinned. The place went to ruin after the owner died.The environment worker said: 'The local fisheries office will coordinate with the company to find a solution.'Meanwhile, acting Sub Lieutenant Amorn Putkong, secretary of the Wat Khanun Subdistrict Administrative Organisation Council, said they have contacted the private company to take care of the crocodiles.However, the company claimed the reptiles were still legally owned by the deceased owner.Amorn said: 'After the crocodiles broke out, village headmen had to get rid of them because there were a lot of children in the community and the crocodiles were hungry and might harm them.'While they were stuck in the farm, they started attacking each other and feeding on the other dead crocodiles.'The local village headman Sirawit Suwanno said some of the desperate predators have turned to cannibalism. He said they have broken out at least four times, fleeing into several ponds in the area and frightening the locals.