Rom Roath, a 35-year-old crocodile farmer arrived home on Sunday to his wife and two infant children at the family farm in Siem Reap. He went looking for his daughter when the couple noticed she was missing. This led him to a grisly discovery and a sight that is the stuff of nightmares.
A shocking photo of a distraught young mother cradling her 2-year-old daughter’s head brings home the punishing nature of the threat that humans face from crocodiles. The death of a two-year-old girl on a crocodile farm in Cambodia has shocked the world this week and led to the family’s decision to quit the enterprise for good.
A Cambodian crocodile farmer has announced that he is selling his farm in Siem Reap after the death of his beautiful 2-year-old daughter whose remains were discovered last Sunday at the crocodile farm. The little girl had been eaten by the reptiles after she somehow managed to gain access to their enclosure at home.
Distraught man climbed into the enclosure frantically trying to recover his daughter’s body
Her father had gone searching for little Rom Roath Neary on Sunday when she was found missing after he arrived home. The father of the little girl made the grisly discovery when he saw crocodiles in an enclosure of the farm fighting over what remained of his daughter’s body. The distraught man climbed into the enclosure in a frantic attempt to recover the remains of his little one but was only able to retrieve what was left of her head.
Shocking photo of a young mother cradling the head of her daughter sparks controversy
Pictures of the little girl’s mother, in inconsolable grief, hugging the head of her daughter have been published worldwide. The publication of the shocking photograph has been criticised by some but supported by others as it brings home the lethal and punishing danger these creatures pose to human beings.
Mother lost track of the 2-year-old girl while tending to her newborn baby
The mother of the little girl had lost track of her daughter on Sunday as she was busy tending to her newborn child. The loss of his daughter in such horrific circumstances has led the Cambodian farmer to his decision to sell off the farm. Rom Roath is 35 years old and inherited the crocodile farm five years ago from his parents. Siem Reap is in northwestern Cambodia.
35-year-old Cambodian is selling up – ‘I do not want to risk another child’s life.’
The Cambodian knows that this means the price he gets for his farm will be low but his decision is final. He is bitter and regretful over what happened to his little girl. ‘It is my biggest regret in life, to lose my daughter to my own crocodiles that left only her skull behind,’ he told the Khmer Times. ‘I have 60 crocodiles on my farm. I will quit this career, even though it has been in my family since my parents ran it, I do not want to risk another child’s life.’
Farmer accepts responsibility for what happened to his 2-year-old girl on the farm
The crocodile farmer accepts his responsibility for what happened on the farm. It was due to his own failure to guard against the danger posed to his child from the 60 crocodiles living on the farm. ‘It is very dangerous,’ he said. ‘I appeal to other crocodile farmers to be vigilant in taking care of their family if they have a farm at home, and they must build a strong fence around the enclosure while not allowing any child to play around the farm.’
Support from the community and officials
The family have been offered words of comfort and support by local officials including the governor of Siem Reap province. ‘As the provincial authority, we share our condolences to the father, Rem Roth, and mother, Nol Sokly, who lost their daughter who was eaten by crocodiles. It is very sad news,’ a letter read. It is also reported that financial donations have been made to assist the family.
Local police urged precautions for children on farms in the local vicinity after the tragedy
The local chief of police, Police Lieutenant Och Sophen, has told the press that police are reaching out to all farms to remind them to take precautions for the safety of children on farms in the area. ‘Even if a fence has been built around the farm, we urge that farmers still be careful, especially by keeping children away from the enclosures,’ he said.
Thirty-six crocodiles escaped from a Thai farm in April prompting a frantic night search
In April this year, a Thai farmer in Surat Thani province was issued with a reprimand and warning by authorities after thirty-six crocodiles escaped from a pond on his farm during a flood. The incident happened in the Phanom district on Saturday the 13th of April. Luckily, alert and responsive action by local authorities in the area retrieved the reptiles in short order.
It is reported that there were 108 crocodiles on the farm at the time. They were contained in three ponds in the farm owned by 43-year-old Chaiyapruek Ketkaew. The Thai farmer had only opened the facility in February this year.
Local volunteers and farm employees in the late-night search for reptiles, one left free overnight
News of the crocodile escape in Surat Thani brought out volunteers from the local rescue services and employees of the farm. By late that Saturday, 35 had been rounded up while one lone predator remained free in the night. The last crocodile was brought in that Sunday morning.
Governor inspected the farm and instructed the farmer to build higher walls to protect neighbours
Following an inspection of the farm after everything was secured, the province’s Governor, Wichawut Jinto, told the press that he had given instructions to the 43-year-old crocodile farmer to strengthen the walls within the farms to prevent a repeat of the incident and to help preserve the safety and security of neighbours living in the area who may face real danger from the prospect of crocodiles roaming free.
Crocodile farming is no get rich quick scheme
Crocodile farming is a growing trend in Asia although it is a difficult business. The costs of caring for the reptiles and securing them can be high not to mention the dangers they pose if not kept in secure conditions. If not kept in a proper environment, there is also a danger of the crocodiles becoming stressed and developing diseases. Crocodiles are bred for their skins primarily.