Crocodile wrestling! That should give anyone goosebumps. However, crocodile wrestling shows seem to be popular all over Thailand and have been so for many years. The show at the Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo, quite close to Bangkok, has a reputation of its own. The shows comprise several dangerous appearing acts going off without a hitch and the crocodiles are tame and well-behaved throughout. All who witness the shows think they are dangerous but apparently the crocs are well-trained and are used to the routine and know the trainers well.
Although Samphran is a complete zoo set in 60 acres with thousands of animals and holds several popular elephant shows, it is best known for its hour-long daily crocodile wrestling shows. During a typical show, the audience is entertained with the antics of the wrestlers and the crocodiles but gasp in horror as two men who are master crocodile catchers, wrestle and play tug-of-war with the animals and generally horse around, biting their noses, sticking their arms all the way to the shoulder in the crocodile’s mouth, inviting the audience to throw coins into the crocs open mouths and taking them out, hoisting docile seeming crocodiles into the air and finally putting their heads into the open maws of these giant animals. The crocodiles don’t appear to be put out in the least, as this is a routine they have followed for a long time and the wrestlers are well trained not to upset the crocodile in anyway. They apparently can spot the signs when a crocodile is not happy. This is truly a blessing as it will avoid gory accidents in front of an audience. The zoo has been having crocodile wrangling since 1985 and the performers are said to be emulating Thailand’s legendary crocodile hunter Krai Thong.
The several thousand crocodiles in the zoo are apparently better off there than in the wild as their natural habitats are increasingly vanishing and they are also out of harm’s way from Thailand’s aggressive poachers. The zoo’s premises are maintained like a park and it has been accredited by CITES as maintaining one of the ‘cleanest and most impressive public displays of crocodiles in the world’.
Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa is a haven in the middle of the city that offers many frazzled guests relaxing spaces, spacious, well-appointed guest rooms and suites, and rejuvenating spa treatments to recover their equilibrium. Stay in one of prominent 5 star hotels in Bangkok to enjoy its many excellent facilities that include 10 dining venues and bars, a choice of onsite leisure facilities and easy access to some of the city’s best shopping and attractions. Additionally, this popular Bangkok resort does indeed go that extra distance to ensure pleasant experiences for their many guests.
Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday. Google+