The father of a two-year-old girl who was killed by crocodiles on their family farm in Siem Reap has decided to sell his crocodile venture following the tragic loss of his daughter.
On Sunday, two-year-old Rom Roath Neary was found dead on her family’s crocodile farm in Siem Reap city’s Siem Reap commune after she fell into the enclosure.
Her father, 35-year-old Rem Roath, found only her skull after searching for his daughter upon returning home that day.
Mr Roath said he has decided to sell his farm, which he had overseen for the past five years after his parents left it for him to tend.
“It is my biggest regret in life, to lose my daughter to my own crocodiles that left only her skull behind,” he said.
Despite a low estimated price for the farm, Mr Roath said he was ready to sell and quit his career as a crocodile farmer.
“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,” he said. “I do not want to risk another child’s life.”
Mr Roath recognised that he had neglected the safety of his children in the past and urged others to be more careful.
“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,” he said. “It is very dangerous.”
Tea Seiha, governor of Siem Reap province, shared his condolences to the family in a letter.
“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,” he said in the letter.
Hoeun Heang, a clerk at the Siem Reap commune office, said many people had shared their condolences to the family, including some who donated money.
“Many helped, including by donating money to the family to show their sympathies,” he said.
Lieutenant Och Sophen, chief of Siem Reap commune police, said local authorities have spoken to farmers, urging them to be more cautious of the safety of all family members, especially children.
“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.