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Driving up to Khao Yai early Friday morning in my old jalopy was the usual game of risk and caution. One of keeping out of the way of warp speed mini buses and concentrating on the intra lane meanderings of lorry drivers on Thanyaburi's unmarked traffic lanes. Its a journey I start in the early morning darkness from Bangkok, escaping before the city wakes. Morning light broke close to Nakorn Nayok and it was not a good sign. There was heavy cloud blanketing the eastern skies.
I had been planning a day of silently waiting in a blind at one of my favourite spots on the headwaters of the Nakorn Nayok River but needed good strong sunlight for the lens I needed to use to function adequately. What to do? Should I spend a day just watching the river sans camera?
I remembered that Jonathan F. had mentioned to me a week or so earlier that he had seen the National Park's staff shutting down the Pha Kluay Mai/Heaw Suwat trail whilst they attempted to locate the infamous crocodile that is found in the river there. The DNP has decided to capture the crocodile, not a very simple task I am sure, in order to relocate it to another more suitable spot. There have been several instances of tourists trying to interfere with the beast, throwing stones at it and generally antagonizing it. And the DNP believe that something unsavory will happen sooner or later be it to man or to beast. So it has been decided relocation is the best solution, taking into account the animal is believed to have been released into the area by a member of the public rather than being "natural".
So there I was driving along with my original destination scuppered and a conversation regarding a crocodile in my mind. An infamous crocodile that so many people have seen but I have not, ever. A crocodile that may soon be relocated elsewhere but for the moment on an easily accessible trail and, hopefully, a good chance of spotting it. My destination decision was made and I motored up the Heaw Suwat car park for a mornings gentle stroll on the Pha Kluay Mai/Heaw Suwat trail. And there he/she was....
The infamous remaining crocodile of Khao Yai National Park.
The Crocodile in Khao Yai National Park is still of unknown species, probably a hybrid.
On the move in Khao Yai National Park, it was extremely well camoflagued in the water and resembled a log.