One of the more striking photos to come out of Thailand in recent weeks shows a man pushing his car down the street in flood waters that nearly reach his waist. With an expression of mild alarm, he is looking over his left shoulder at a crocodile, easily four metres long, that is paddling sedately by just a couple of paces away.
It sounds like fiction, but saurian carnivores on the streets have been a real concern as Bangkok weathers its fourth week of flooding. (It can't help but remind us of a story about bull sharks cruising the streets of the Australian town of Goodna during that country's serious flooding earlier this year). In Thailand, the crocodile farms that provide meat, leather and tourism attractions have overspilled their borders with the rising flood waters.
Happily, there haven't been any fatal encounters reported to date, and we presume that the man in the photo decided to abandon his car in favour of higher ground. The Thai government has actually issued a novel warning: residents are cautioned not to hunt the escaped crocodiles for food. Given the innovative Thai cuisine, the warning may be warranted.
After an unrelenting stream of bad news, Bangkok finally got a break yesterday when the irrigation department said the city may be dry within a week. A drier Bangkok will be a safer place for people and crocodiles alike.