What has been dubbed the ‘world’s most terrifying tourist attraction’ has been shut down after alarming photos of tourists feeding crocodiles emerged.
The pictures, taken at the Elephant Kingdom in Chonburi, Thailand, show hundreds of crocs circling a raft loaded with holidaymakers in a pond used for crocodile farming, reports The Mirror.
The photos – taken by motorbike-taxi rider Jon Nok – appear to show a make-shift cage kept afloat with plastic barrels loaded with tourists dangling meat off hooks for the crocodiles to eat.
Jon, 40, said:
It looks so dangerous I just had to take a picture. The tourists were all Chinese and some of them were scared, others were enjoying it.
People have been shocked to see that this happens.
The images went viral after Jon posted them on Twitter – prompting police, soldiers and government officials to race to the crocodile farm.
It has been closed down for 90 days while safety checks are carried out – although the activity has reportedly been popular with Chinese tourists for a number of years.
Uthen Youngprapakorn – the owner of the ‘attraction’ which is part of a crocodile farm, said he offered rides on the cage due to high demand from Chinese tourists.
We don’t put more than 15 people in a cage at a time. But they can hold more than this.
There have never been any problems and visitors are very happy. We always watch everything very closely.
The location has more than 4,300 crocodiles and gharials (fish-eating river crocodiles) spread out over two large ponds.
It is part of Thailand’s huge crocodile farming industry (the largest in the world) with a number of designer brands sourcing skins from the country for their high-end products.