Crocodile consumption is becoming more popular in Thailand, being sold in both restaurants and pharmacies. No reporter narration.
(ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION) Some 1.2 million crocodiles are kept on more than 1,000 farms in Thailand, according to figures from the Thai department of fisheries. Some are equipped with slaughterhouses and tanneries to produce luxury products. In the last several years, Thais and tourists alike have discovered a taste for crocodile meat, as well as the alleged health benefits of eating crocodile and crocodile products. Thai scientists claim that the blood helps to boost blood sugar levels, backing age-old belief that it is beneficial for anaemic people. Supplements such as those marketed by companies like Wanithai Ltd, feed that demand. Sri Ayuthaya Crocodile Farm is one of Thailand's biggest and has been operating for 35 years. Crocodile meat is sold for as much as 300 baht ($8.84) per kg (2.2 lb). The bile and blood of the reptile, made into pills for their health benefits, are worth 40,000 baht ($1178) and 500 baht ($14.73) per kg, respectively. Wichien Rueangnet, the farm's owner, says these days there is not enough meat to meet demand, especially since crocodile leather products fell more than 60 percent in 2016 to 13 million baht ($383,000) from 34 million baht ($1 million) in 2015, commerce ministry figures show, and killing the reptiles just for meat is not an option.