Ordinarily, headlines promising details of a suicide by crocodile would thrill me to no end. And it was with great anticipation and enthusiasm that I read a recent news report about a Thai woman who apparently ended it all in just that manner.
According to the International Business Times, “Tiphawan Prakarn, 36, never returned from a visit to the Crocodile Farm in Samut Prakarn, 29km south of Bangkok. Tiphawan suffered from depression and had told her husband Sunai Jisathra, 55, she was going to see a doctor. However a woman fitting her description was seen ‘jumping intentionally’ into a crocodile pit.”
Not surprisingly, the International Business Times report tells us that “the farm denied the incident ever happened but Tiphawan was caught on CCTV entering the crocodile park. Sunai also said a man claiming to be a farm’s representative called him to offer a settlement.”
The facility in question is the Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm & Zoo, which is described on its website as “the world’s largest crocodile farm.”
Language on the farm’s website indicates that it was “founded in 1950 by … Utai Youngprapakorn … to provide a continuing flow of crocodile skins and related products to the world market,” and that “more than 100,000 crocodiles” are imprisoned, along with other species, at the “300 acre edutainment” facility.
Translation: The Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm & Zoo exploits crocodiles for visitors’ amusement before turning the creatures into belts, bags, briefcases, and other internationally marketable “products.”
According to a report in the Daily Mail, Jisathra “said he would not file any charges against the farm owner. All he wanted was the truth and that incidents at tourist attractions in Thailand can often be covered up.”
Whether the farm’s owners and operators have anything more to say about Prakarn’s apparent suicide is neither here nor there, as far as I’m concerned. The truth is that they are perpetrating and perpetuating a holocaust.
While I hope that Mr. Jisathra gets what he wants, what I want is for the owners and operators of the Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm & Zoo to release their long-suffering prisoners and then to follow Ms. Prakarn’s suicidal lead.