Crocodile sparks panic after swimming close to beach in Thailand

A huge saltwater crocodile sparked panic after it was spotted swimming close to a beach in Thailand.

Holidaymakers were enjoying dipping in the water when the 10ft-long reptile appeared in Ao Manao-Khao Tanyong National Park in Narathiwat province on December 28.

Staff guided holidaymakers off the beach and watched from a distance as the crocodile drifted towards the shore.

It glided slowly through the shallows around 20ft away from the beach but did not walk onto the sand.

The crocodile disappeared underwater after about five minutes but the park management have now temporarily closed the area for tourists.

They informed the provincial fisheries officials about the crocodile sighting and will determine if the area is still safe for tourists.

In a statement, the management said: “We will investigate the area to find saltwater crocodiles. We cannot let people in until we are sure that it is safe for them and the wild animals.”

Authorities have warned locals and tourists not to swim in Manao Bay and its surrounding areas after several crocodiles were seen inhabiting the area.