BANGKOK (AFP) – The critically endangered Siamese crocodile has been spotted for only the second time in a decade at Thailand’s largest national park, according to photos released on Saturday.
The freshwater reptile – snapped by camera traps sunning itself at Kaeng Krachan National Park near the Thai border with Myanmar – was once ubiquitous across Southeast Asia, but its numbers have plummeted in the region. It is currently listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list.
National park officials estimate only about 20 remain in the wild because of hunting and habitat loss, but on Saturday the nature reserve shared a rare spot of good news.
The crocodile – never seen before by officials – was captured by cameras slithering out of the water, before it parked itself on the river bank open-jawed under the sun.