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Farm agrees to stop photos of kids with crocodiles

Education Ministry permanent secretary Suthasri Wongsaman yesterday ordered a probe into an allegation circulating on the Internet on Friday relating to a Chiang Mai kindergarten taking children on a field trip and allowing kids to get close to crocodiles for photographs without adult supervision.

Suthasri said the ministry's inspector-general would visit the privately-run kindergarten to seek answers.

Suthasri said Office of the Private Education Commission (OPEC) chief Bandit Sriphutthangkul's initial enquiry with the school found that the field trip had taken place and kids had taken pictures with crocodiles. Bandit warned the school that it should not put children in harm's way even though a crocodile caretaker claimed it was safe.

Suthasri's office and the OPEC would later discuss the guideline and regulations for student safety during field trips, he said.

The Chiang Mai-based crocodile farm insisted the students were taking pictures with "well-trained" animals and there were crocodile caretakers present at the time. But the farm said later they would no longer allow children to be in photos with crocodiles.


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