Kanda freezes on the trail a few steps ahead, making a hand motion to stay quiet. She’s seen something on the opposite river bank that no one else noticed.
Her voice is a whisper as she points across the water. Suddenly, we notice movement; a crocodile shifts its head to keep an eye on us, its open mouth sending a warning.
Nature watchers Steve and Tanja uploaded this video footage of the freshwater crocodile that has made its home in this Khao Yai stream, in close proximity to the walking track.
FREELAND’s Carnivore Conservation Project Field Coordinator, Kanda Damrongchainarong, explains that there is no active breeding population of crocodiles native to Khao Yai, so individuals like this one must have made their way into the park from other areas.
Still, the appearance of this croc is a good sign for Khao Yai’s river systems. Like tigers, these large carnivores are positive indicators of a healthy ecosystem supporting enough prey for them to hunt.