The Seub Nakhasathien Foundation issued a statement on Monday, calling for the Thai authority to urgently move a three-metre-long saltwater crocodile to an appropriately enclosed natural location such as a wildlife breeding centre in order to reduce the reptile’s stress.
Authorities had kept the crocodile at a rehabilitation pond in Thalang while an investigation determined whether it was from the wild or had belonged to an individual.
Members of the public grew concerned about the reptile’s welfare as it appeared to be tired and had not eaten any food.
The crocodile was captured from a tin mine lake near Laypang Beach on August 25, after it was spotted at Bangtao Beach days earlier and created public panic.
The foundation also called on the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Environment and the Fisheries Department to cooperate to find an appropriate site to release the crocodile and to also to take action to conserve the critically endangered species in Thailand.
They also urged authorities to increase public understanding about saltwater crocodiles and their role in keeping the wild ecosystem in balance.
Crocodile viewing can also attract tourists, they said, and sustainable human-wildlife coexistence has been successful in some countries, including Malaysia, Singapore and Myanmar.