Residents were terrified when hundreds of starving crocodiles were found eating each other on an abandoned farm.

Around 190 man-eating beasts were locked up in cages near a village in Songkhla province in southern Thailand where the owner raised them to harvest their skins to make leather goods.

But the predators were left uncared for when the owner crocodile farm owner passed away last year.

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Villagers said a few of the crocodiles broke out of the enclosure during the rainy season and got into the village, leaving residents terrorised.

Others were starved to death – and they started turning on each other.

In the video taken by officers from a provincial fisheries office, unlucky crocodiles unable to escape their pens died and left behind their decaying remains in the murky pool.

Phirat Tangsukcharoenkun, legal officer of Songkhla Provincial Fisheries Office, inspected the farm on February 27 and found it covered in tall grass and tangled vines.

He said that from an estimated 190 crocodiles, the number dwindled to around 100.

Phirat added a private company in Chonburi had hired the farm owner to raise crocodiles until they were two years old, after which they were skinned.

But the place went to ruin after the owner died.

The environment worker said: "The local fisheries office will coordinate with the company to find a solution."

Meanwhile, acting Sub Lieutenant Amorn Putkong, secretary of the Wat Khanun Subdistrict Administrative Organisation Council, said they have contacted the private company to take care of the crocodiles.

However, the company claimed the reptiles were still legally owned by the deceased owner.

Amorn said: "After the crocodiles broke out, village headmen had to get rid of them because there were a lot of children in the community and the crocodiles were hungry and might harm them.

"While they were stuck in the farm, they started attacking each other and feeding on the other dead crocodiles."

The local village headman Sirawit Suwanno said some of the desperate predators had turned to cannibalism.

He said they have broken out at least four times, fleeing into several ponds in the area and frightening the locals.


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