A series of photos showing a group of Chinese tourists feeding crocodiles with meat hanging from sticks aboard a fragile-looking raft at Elephant Kingdom park in Chonburi, Thailand has gone viral online, scaring the bejesus out of everyone.
In the photos, Chinese tourists, including children, are seen smiling and having fun on the raft floating in a pond crammed with crocs, luring the crocodiles to swim closer by dipping meat dangling from hooks into the water.
Made up of plastic barrels, a few sets of metal railings and some wooden supports, many online think that the raft looks flimsy at best. While the Chinese tourists appeared to have a great time, the photos ignited a debate about safety at the park, and eventually police got wind of the situation.
Thanks to the viral pics, Elephant Kingdom has been shut down for 90 days so that Chonburi authorities can carry out safety inspections on the crocodile farm, reports People’s Daily. According to the tourist attraction’s spokesperson, the park is home to 4,000 crocodiles.
Netizens on Weibo can’t imagine what the Chinese tourists were thinking getting on that raft in crocodile-infested waters.
“What if those people got pulled down or even fell into the lake accidentally?” one web user asked.
“All those people on that raft are playing with their lives. Seriously, it’s not worth it. Stop playing with fire!” another warned.
“They think this is fun? I don’t see how standing on a raft among a bunch of dangerous crocodiles could be ‘fun.’ Please cherish your life!” another agreed.
And hey, if you want to put yourself in crocodile-infested waters, why travel all the way to Thailand? Earlier this month, 92 alligators escaped from a farm in Anhui following heavy flooding. Most of the gators have been captured and returned. Most.
By Katie Ngai
[Images via People’s Daily // Weibo]