White-robed mae chee Aumnuay Chuchuay waded into the knee-deep, 12 metre-wide pond at Wat Khanarn in tambon Thung Yai of Thung Yai district to collect pak boong for cooking stir-fried morning glory when the crocodile, about 1.5 metres long, bit her right calf, Thai Rath Online reported.
After being able to compose herself, Mae Chee Aumnuay tried to run to the shore and shout for help, "but the crocodile followed me and tried to snap at my legs until I made it out of the water," she said.
The woman, already experiencing signs of shock, was rushed to Thung Yai hospital where she was treated for a 10cm-long, 5cm-wide wound that went almost to the bone, as well as 20 other scratches on both legs.
Mae chee Aunmuay said she had been staying at the temple for 10 years and just went down the pond to collect pak boong the other day without incident. She said she assumes someone may have raised the deadly reptile but wanted to stop feeding it and then took it to the temple's pond.
The abbot of Wat Khanarn has been raising a male crocodile for many years but the animal was kept in a well-secured enclosed pen. The crocodile was given to the abbot by a layman and now weighs about 300-500 kgs and more than two metres long.
Experts have been called in to catch the crocodile in the pond and take it to a place safe for both it and temple-goers.