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OWNER PUTS HIS CROCS BEFORE HIS SCHOOL

SHARE OWNER PUTS HIS CROCS BEFORE HIS SCHOOL

The owner of a primary school in central Bangkok has told the authorities he would rather close the school than get rid of crocodiles he keeps at an adjoining zoo he runs, an official said Thursday.

Parents of children attending the Smithichote School in central Bangkok had complained to the government about the danger posed by the crocodiles.Taweesak Senanarong, secretary-general of the government's Private Education Commission, said he received a letter from the school's owner, Jira Smithichote, who said he had no intention of getting rid of the crocs.

Jira was quoted as saying crocodiles are an endangered species and the children are fortunate to be able to observe them.

He said that his 15 crocodiles, which are up to 6 feet long, are confined behind a metal fence.