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Farmer Dies after Falling into Crocodile Pit

SIEM REAP: A 72-year-old crocodile farmer from Po Banteay Chey village in Siem Reap was killed by the animals after falling into their pit this morning. Siem Reap Administrative Police Chief Mey Savari confirmed to EAC news by telephone that the horrific incident happened at 5 am on May 26.

He said that the victim first went to check on the crocodiles when he suddenly slipped into a pool of 30-40 crocodiles, which mauled him as his wife was making offerings to a monk. Chief Savari said, "The monk came to help pull the victim out while he was being dragged into the pool, but could not reach him in time.” According to the report, the victim died instantly of massive blood loss after his arm was removed by the crocodiles.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Cambodia is home to around 700 crocodile farms which harvest the animals for meat and leather, often for export. With an estimated 250,000 crocodiles in stock, encounters with the animals can turn deadly. In 2022, a farmer fell into a crocodile pond and was bitten, causing serious injury and later death. In 2019, a two-year-old girl fell into a crocodile pool and was viciously mauled. The deaths all took place in Siem Reap, where a majority of the country’s crocodile farms are run.

Last year the Fisheries Administration pushed for more efficient safety measures at the farms, including more robust and higher fencing and reinforcing doors and railings near the pools. In 2020, of the 445 farms officially registered with the ministry, only 22 were recognized as compliant with international standards.

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