The government of Ayutthaya has offered a reward of 1,000 baht (US$33) to those who aid in catching renegade crocodiles alive.
The worst floods to have hit Thailand in decades have caused a host of disasters in the area. Approximately 100 reptiles are reportedly loose in and around Ayutthaya.
Ayutthaya is the former capital of Thailand, a World Heritage site and major tourist attraction.
Local authorities fear that the most dangerous of reptiles, who are believed to have escaped from nearby farms, pose a threat to the public. Stray crocs have been spotted in several areas of the city.
Public Health Minister Vitthaya Buranasiri said the crocodiles “need to be captured to keep people safe.”
The Thai government states that already 300 people have died in the natural disaster, but no known fatalities involving crocodiles have been reported.
Thailand’s Natural Resource Ministry has set up a dedicated hotline for people to report wild animals on the loose in the flooded areas.
The fishery department has so far received “many phone calls,” said an official. “We are now coordinating with the fishery department [on] a hotline [for] any loose animals in the flood areas…tigers, snakes or crocodiles,” he added.
The ministry has also dispatched other government agencies to assist in capturing the pests, but was unwilling to disclose how many have been rounded up so far.
If you happen to be in or plan to visit the area soon, be sure to dial 1362 if you manage to catch sight of one of these lost deadly creatures (and survive long enough to report it).