Hugging the Croc

Eaten Up Over Relationship Suspicions

Bangkok Post, August 12 2002

Zoo Visitor Jumps Into Jaws of Death
Woman dies with arms around croc

A woman committed suicide by jumping into a pool of more than 100 crocodiles in front of a shocked crowd of tourists at a Samut Prakan zoo yesterday.

Police said Somjai Setbun, a 40-year-old Surin native, died after suffering serious injuries to her head and neck when one of the reptiles bit into her and dragged her into the water.

"It happened so quickly that there was no time for anyone to stop her," said Thanes Wiriyaporn, a tourist guide at Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo.

Mr Thanes told police Somjai's face had registered no emotion as she climbed over the crocodile pool's two-metre steel perimeter fence at about 11 am.

Kornkanok Jaiwa, a visitor to
Samut Prakan Crocodile Farm and Zoo,
recounts how Somjai Setbun jumped to her
grisly death yesterday

When the crocodile attacked and dragged her into the water, she wrapped her arms around it and did not resist, he said.

Scores of other reptiles subsequently swarmed around Somjai, before security guards fought them away with bamboo poles.

Pol Lt-Col Theerachai Jindasathien said Somjai left a letter at the scene of her death criticising her husband and apologising to her two children.

The woman's 19-year-old son, Wilai, said his mother had been suffering from stress, but had never talked about family problems.

He believed his mother took her own life because his father had flirted with other women.

From the Bangkok News and Thai Rhat:

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