Some Snakes from Thailand

 To discover these creatures that frighten us so much....

In Thailand, these animals are quite frequent and I realize that during the discussions, everyone talks about them, but that in the vast majority of cases, few people really know about them. So I spent a few hours browsing websites on the net, just to "inform myself" a little, to collect information and images, and to know a little more about these impressive creatures.

This article will introduce you to a number (there are many more) of these reptiles that you can meet in Thailand, whether in a garden, or during a walk in the forest, and why not... in the city.  (it seems there are about 200 different species

In Thailand, the most known and widespread snake is without hesitation the Cobra (all varieties combined): very dangerous, but it is not the only one.

Bungaru Kraits are even more dangerous but much less common, fortunately.
And then... even more dangerous than the Kraits: the one who kills the most people in Thailand is a viper: Malayan Pit Viper and finally the Russel's Viper which has the reputation of being the greatest cause of death in the world...

This article presents a number of snake varieties... there are many more (it seems that there are about 200 different species...

Please note...

It is impossible to present here all the snakes that live in Thailand. This article presents a number of them... let's say the most common ones... 

You can find a complete list on the following website.... just click on the image below... 

snakes

  The Cobras

   King Cobra

(Ophiophagus hannah)

By its length, the King Cobra is the largest poisonous snake in the world. The largest specimens can reach a length of 4.5 metres, but most often its size is around 3 metres. However, a royal cobra raised in a London zoo has reached a record size of 5 metres and 71 centimetres. When this snake wants to impress a prey or when it feels threatened, like the cobras, it unfolds its "headdress" and raises its head vertically, thus a part of its body. It is therefore possible to see one of these snakes looking into the eyes of a medium-sized adult human being, face to face, his head may be standing 1.70 metres above the ground, the cobra may even move while standing!

Its weight can reach 10 kg. Its skin is black, greenish or brown, often with white or yellow bars; when the snake is still young, these lines are more distinct.

The royal cobra has a lifespan of 20 years.

He also has excellent visual acuity, making him an outstanding hunter. It is one of the few snakes, with the Dendroaspis polylepis also called black mamba to be territorial, which gives them a reputation for aggressiveness since, unlike other snakes, they more rarely flee from danger, sometimes facing it to protect their territory.

Contrary to popular belief, the Royal Cobra does not attack humans, but rather tends to flee.
It has been shown that a King Cobra could kill a buffalo or an elephant

  Le Naja kaouthia

2. - The Naja kaouthia (Monocled cobra)

It is found quite frequently throughout Thailand. Kauthia Naja, is also found in India, Nepal, southern China and Indochina.

The Naja kaouthia is a snake in the flat country, which can climb and swim very well. The spectacled cobra is also at home in a wide variety of places: forests and shrublands, as well as plantations, rice fields, pastures, villages and cities. The spectacle cobra is active day and night, but most often at night. These snakes eat rodents, frogs, toads, ducks and chicks. When he is threatened he straightens up and whistles.

The cobra has the particularity of inflating his neck when he is excited (angry). It is actually his ribs that he has the opportunity to stretch that cause this phenomenon. It is a defensive trick that allows it to look much bigger in the eyes of its opponent or predator.

If you react calmly, he will usually run away.

This snake can vary in colour from light beige to dark brown and grey.

Its venom is very powerful and deadly.

Accidents with Naja Kaouthia are very frequent: every day in the Bangkok area, sometimes fatal when the serum could not be injected in time.

The monocle Naja can reach 2.20 m. He was then 10 to 15 years old.

But the most dangerous is still the royal Cobra. Although its poison is not as virulent as that of the monocle Naja, the dose injected during a bite is much higher.

Protected in Thailand, there are still some in the thirty or so national parks. They sometimes feed on snakes, so when a snake dies, it is used to feed the royal cobra.


 Naja Siamensis

3. - Naja Siamensis (Black And White Spitting Cobra)


The Naja Siamensis lives in Thailand and in Malaysia, it can reach a height of 1.80 m, it is quite aggressive and can spit its venom.

It is an elapidate with neurotoxic venom and very violent. In case of a bite, it is necessary to act very quickly because its bite can be fatal in less than an hour!

This cobra is able to spit out his venom up to 3 meters away, he will then aim at his eyes to try to blind his aggressor and thus be able to escape. In case of venom in the eyes, rinse well with water containing 5% vinegar and avoid rubbing.

Like all cobras, he is lively but rather fearful. He will throw himself forward up to 30cm high to impress the person who handles him before leaving to hide under a bark.

On the other hand, when he is hungry or feels food, he does not stand up but dives into anything that moves in front of him.


 King Cobra venom extraction

King Cobra Village

You can see here an article and photos brought back from the King Cobra Ban Khok Sa Nga Village, near Khon-Kaen... 

  The Bungaru Family (Kraits)

  Bungarus (Kraits)

Bongar or bungare, an oviparous venomous snake found in all intertropical regions of Asia.

Also called kraits, these snakes seem to be affected by photophobia or heliocatalepsia. During the day they hide and can be provoked with impunity, they remain apathetic but as soon as the darkness is felt they become extremely aggressive.

The Asian proverb clearly summarizes the situation "the kraits never bite, but if they do, you're dead"

Bungars come in a variety of colours and shapes, and can be over 2 m long.
The Thai call him Ngu Sam Liem, which means the triangular snake because the section of his body is actually triangular and the dorsal ridge is protruding.

  Bungarus candidus(Malayan Krait/Blue Krait)

Blue Krait is mainly found in flat countries. They are rarely found above 1200m and often live near water. The Blue Krait is also found near rice fields, where it uses the many holes and rat paths and mouse nests to hide. However, it can also be found even in villages and towns. 

Like the ringed Krait, he's a little shy. The Blue Krait is essentially an ophiophagous, which means it feeds on other snakes, but it also eats lizards, and sometimes even small mammals.

Under normal conditions snakes only bite to defend themselves.

  Bungarus flaviceps (Red-headed Krait)

The Red-headed Krait lives in the humid forests of the mountains and in the mountainous regions. It is rarely found in areas inhabited by humans. 

This species is very rare. 

This snake eats almost exclusively other snakes. Like the other two kraits, the Red-headedrait does not like daylight and nightlight. This does not mean that these snakes during the day are not dangerous. These animals were also seen in the middle of the day eating.

Danger:

Although the Red-headed Krait is too lazy to bite, the poison is very powerful and must therefore be considered dangerous. In addition, this snake can move very quickly.

  Calliophis bivirgatus, Blue Coral Snake

Measures up to 1.80m

Flaviceps bivirgatus Calliophis is found almost exclusively in wooded areas, hills and lower mountainous areas up to a height of 500 to 900 metres. They prefer to live near water and hide under rotten trees and leaves or under stones. This snake is usually nocturnal but sometimes it is active during the day. He moves very slowly.

Although it is generally peaceful and not considered aggressive, there have been some casualties due to the dose of venom injected.
For this reason, the Blue Coral Snake must be considered extremely dangerous.

  Calliophis maculiceps (Small-Coral Snake)

Measures about 50 cm.

It can be found in almost all regions of Thailand, in the flat country or even in the middle mountains.

This animal is very peaceful and does not bite.
Given the small size of his head, there's little chance he'll bite a human.

We have little information on his venom. This snake is probably not very dangerous for humans....

    The Sea Snake

The Sea Snake found in Phuket and its surroundings
"Banded Sea Krait" (Laticauda colubrina)

The venom of the banded Sea kraits is among the most toxic in the world. It is docile and non-aggressive and divers are rarely bitten, even in situations where the animal feels threatened.

According to regulars (divers) their mouth is so small that they can only bite between the phalanges, or the earlobe.

This snake is very poisonous, but not aggressive to humans.
In case of a bite, very quick transport to hospital is recommended.

  The Vipers

  Malayan Pit Viper

Calloselasma rhodostoma

The Malayan Pit Viper  is the snake that kills the most people in Thailand, so extremely dangerous.

This snake is found in almost every region of Thailand and is often hidden under dead leaves, stones or old wood.

Mainly nocturnal, it is also found during the day: very aggressive, very fast.

  Russel's Viper

Daboia russelii siamensis

The Russel's Viper is the snake that kills the most people in the world, so it is extremely dangerous.

Mainly because of its irritable nature, this viper is responsible for more deadly poisonings than any other snake. 

Over most of its range, this species is considered to be the most dangerous viperidae and the greatest cause of poisoning and death. It is part of the "big four", the four Indian snake species responsible for the greatest number of deaths.

 Impressive demonstration!

The following short video shows you the reaction of human blood coming into contact with a few drops of Russel's viper venom...
A transformation in a few seconds..... very very very impressive!


  The Temple Viper

vipère de russel

Length: Average length of 60 cm. Male smaller than female. Female maximum length at 100 cm.

Tropidolaemus wagleri, or temple viper, is a species of snakes of the family Viperidae
This species occurs in southern Thailand in the provinces of Phang Nga, Pattani, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat and Yala; in Western Malaysia; in Singapore; in Indonesia in the islands of Sumatra, Bangka, Nias, and the Mentawai Islands, Natuna Islands and Riau;

Appearance: Wagler’s pit viper is a short green (งูเขียว) pit viper and the female is considerably thicker (3-4 times as thick) than the male. A marked difference in patterns is noted with the female becoming darker and with strong banding as you can see in the above image. The males are so radically different that they look like completely different species (sexual dimorphism). In three reptile identification books I have for Thailand, they make no mention of the differences between the sexes. The female is pictured in each case.

  The Bamboo Snake

Trimeresurus Albolabris

the green viper (trimeresurus stejnegeri) which measures no more than 0.80 m and the bamboo viper (trimeresurus albolabris) which can reach 0.80 m. The latter two are tree snakes that have the same eating habits as the temple viper and whose hemotoxic venom produces similar effects to those of other congeners.

The bites of these vipers are to be taken very seriously, even if fatal cases are quite rare. To stop the devastating effect of this hemotoxic venom, there is only one treatment. It consists of injecting a specific anti-venom serum that must be administered in a hospital by a doctor or if the victim has been bitten in an area that is a medical desert, he must inject it himself. To do this, it is not necessary to have an anti-venom serum for each species of snake. Indeed, it is sufficient to use a polyvalent serum to counter the effects of hemotoxic venoms from all the vipers mentioned above.

  The Impressive Pythons

  Python reticulatus

(Broghammerus reticulatus Reticulated Python)

The cross-linked python is found throughout Thailand. It has already happened to find this type of snake in Bangkok....

The python was originally a forest dweller and lived on flat land. It prefers to be close to water and is active at dusk and at night. The reticulated python is a fantastic swimmer and regularly swims long distances in the ocean.

These snakes are very aggressive and can bite at the slightest disturbance. A 4-metre long snake is a danger to humans, not because of its poison, but because of its size. 

The bite can be extremely violent and painful with significant sequelae.

  Python Brongersmai

(Blood python)

Usually less than 2 metres, but some can be up to 2.50 metres long,
It is found in southern Thailand from Krabi province. It can even be frequently found on the island of Phuket.

Blood python is found in the flat country and often lives near swampy areas and water.

Animals are frequently found in water. When annoyed, this snake can bite very quickly. He eats rodents and birds.

This snake is not dangerous to humans.

  Python molurus bivittatus

(Burmese Python)

The longest specimen was owned by the owner of a private zoo in Bangkok, and reaches a total length of 8.8 m.

This Python is found in the countryside in grassy and slightly wooded areas. They are often found on the edge of hills and mountains. Specimens have also been found in areas of downtown Bangkok, much less often than the reticulated python mentioned above. These snakes are active at night and at dusk. They feed on warm-blooded mammals up to the size of a German shepherd.

The Burmese python is a peaceful snake and has no tendency to bite, but there is a potential danger due to its size.

  Frequent in the gardens of Thailand

Splendid winding of an innocuous tree-snake in a palm tree of my garden for a quiet nap....
In the end, this image is quite common in this country. 

  Chrysopelea

(Tree Snakes)

The Golden Tree Snake, is found all over Thailand. Can measure up to 1.40m.

Since they feed on rodents, geckos and other lizards, they are often present on and in homes. These snakes are active during the day, can climb walls and are very fast.

If they feel threatened and cannot escape, they bite right away, however, the poison is not violent and does not have much effect on humans.

  Gonyosoma

This snake generally measures between 1.60 and 1.90, but can go up to 2.40m.

This snake is active during the day and usually lives in trees. It can be found in primary forests, agricultural lands, mangrove forests and park areas.

This snake can bite, but it's not dangerous.

  Red-Necked Keelback Snake

Usually measures less than 1 meter, but can also reach 1.30m.

This snake is often found near water bodies, ponds, lakes, even a swimming pool and in gardens in general.

Appear during the day, feed on crabs, fish. Able to lift their necks like a cobra but much less dangerous.

A bite from this snake can cause big problems, the venom is very powerful. It all depends on the duration of the bite. If the bite lasted a long time (2 minutes), serious complications may occur with intensive care intervention. 

   Grass-snake

Indochinese Rat Snake 

Family : COLUBRIDAE
Species : Ptyas korros
Maximum Size : 2.6 metres

This snake is probably the most widespread snake in Thailand, at least in my garden!

The last one on the visit, savagely murdered by my dogs, was 2 meters long.

Quite fast, it feeds mainly on mice and toads.
This snake is harmless.



Contrary to some popular belief, it is not necessarily in the forest or jungle that you will be most likely to come across a snake.

Another image of adventure movies where we see snakes hidden in the trees and ready to jump on you....
Bangkok is full of these creatures: cobra, python, varang weighing more than 25 kg are quietly wandering around the capital's districts.

They are not there to attack you, but they are looking for food, especially at nightfall.

For the city's firefighters, the catches of these creatures introduced to the inhabitants represent the majority of their interventions... well before those for fires!


Every year in Thailand, there are more than a dozen deaths due to snake bites and hundreds of people seriously injured!

 Prevention of Snake Bites

Thailand being a tropical country, there is therefore an abundance of poisonous and non-venomous snakes. Some of these snakes can be found near homes because of the easy prey that is usually found there: chickens, ducks, rats, mice, and sometimes even dogs.
It is very rare for humans to be attacked by a snake (except in movies), so there is usually little danger with most of these animals. However, if they feel threatened, some of them may be the most deadly.

Most accidents occur, through negligence, inattention, or clumsiness.

When you walk, your steps produce vibrations that are immediately felt by these animals and usually they flee as quickly as possible.

This simple method is one of the most effective methods of prevention. However, if you are confronted with a snake on your way, give it the opportunity to escape and 9 times out of 10, the snake will do it. Stay calm at all times.
The most dangerous time is at dusk or at night, when your visibility is limited. You should always be very careful at this time of day. (That's why, at night, I'm always careful where I step... walking on a cobra is rare, but if it happens... hello damage!)

When going out in the bush, wearing sturdy boots or walking shoes and fairly thick long pants can be effective.

Systematically killing these animals is useless. They play their part in nature to control pests and rodents. The only time you have to kill a snake is if you are bitten.

You must then bring the dead snake to allow its identification, so that you will obtain the antidote easily.

  Snake Trap

Snake Trap


At home, you can easily tinker with a snake trap. I made myself one that has already served me several times and therefore, that has proved its worth.

The device consists of a PVC tube 20mm in diameter and 2 metres long. A strong rope passes through the pipe with a loop at one end, and enough string at the other end to tighten the beast.

You will have to try to place the loop around the snake's head and tighten the rope.

However, even with this trap, Cobras should be approached with extreme caution and it is better to wear safety glasses, as some of them can spit venom with extreme precision into your eyes up to 3 meters.

Démonstration


A short visit to our property... and the opportunity to use the "snake trap".

Once tightened, the animal can no longer do anything....

For the record, this absolutely non-aggressive bug, (Indochinese Rat Snake) i. e. an indochine snake, was 140 cm long...


Snake Trap


A painter's roller... at the end of a pole of about 2 meters... ideal to catch the beast...

Démonstration


What was this cobra going to do under a flower pot... we'll never know...


Learn a little more about how to capture a cobra....

   Unfortunately....


Our dogs have spared us a few worries with these snakes several times in recent years. Indeed, many times we have heard them barking abnormally, a sign of foreign presence: cat, rat, snake... specific barks easily recognizable for us.

Many times, they killed cobra snakes, indochine snakes, tree snakes... and each time, when this situation occurred, they were hysterical, uncontrollable, wild.

Unfortunately, what was supposed to happen one day finally happened, "Café", my daughter's favorite dog, was surprised by a huge cobra (1.50m) who took refuge in my tool room.

He succumbed to the bite 30 minutes later, the veterinarian being able only to note the death after a few attempts at resuscitation.
The majority of cobras of this type, generally measure about 1 meter, this one much longer (1.50m which is a lot), is to say my "surprise" when I saw it at the end of my flashlight, in the dark!

The snake trap: described above was used to capture this huge cobra. I was also surprised at how easy it was to catch him: approaching the rope circle near his head very slowly, the snake literally threw itself into it. In a flash, all I had to do was tighten the rope at the other end, I held it for good. Was it a stroke of luck, did I take risks...? In any case, think carefully before intervening, this kind of situation is dangerous!

On the picture above, lifeless "Café" and its killer.... Goodbye "Coffee"!

  Surprise... surprise...

In Thailand, this is the kind of surprise that can happen to you... 
8pm, it's dark... we have a visit from a cobra who went to hide somewhere at the bottom of the garden...
We called the foundation... because for me, it is out of the question to go looking for the snake in the dark...
You don't see it too much in this picture, but the strong light is that of the "hunter" who has spotted the bug.

In a few minutes, the snake is caught, mastered, captured, a piece of cake for these guys who are used to this kind of intervention.

No problem, they pose for the photo... and we... are reassured.

I observed their way of doing things to these boys... they go there, without the slightest fear, ball in mind! the snake with them... has no chance!



Sometimes beautiful specimens are caught "gently" and without traps....
Pretty impressive, this King Cobra, which must be about 4 meters long, right?


 First aid after a snake bite


Everything you've seen in the movies, like sucking the venom from the wound, cutting it with a knife, etc... is totally wrong. You will only increase the damage that has already been done. The only things that really work are as follows:

Calming the Victim

This is the first step. Fear and panic after a bite increase the heart rate and thus accelerate the spread of the poison. Most snakes are harmless, but they can also bite and usually leave the same marks as poisonous bites.

The treatment of the bite

The wound must be cleaned and covered to avoid infection. Do not try to extract the venom by applying pressure to the area. If the bite is in the hand or arm, remove any ring or wristwatch due to possible swelling.

Immobilize the injured area

To slow the spread of venom, immobilize the wound area (arm or leg) without applying pressure. Prevent the victim from walking or running! The fewer moves she makes, the better.

Try to slow the blood flow of the affected limb

If there is no hope of finding medical treatment within 30 minutes of the incident, you should slow the blood flow with a bandage for the affected limb.

Slowing down blood circulation may be the only way to prevent the spread of venom in the above scenario. The bandage should be applied by a person with first aid experience or, if possible, by a doctor because of the risk of increasing the damage. The dressing, preferably slightly elastic if possible, or a towel, then applied in such a way that circulation is slowed down, but never completely blocked.

Do not remove the dressing before arriving at the hospital!

This method should only be applied in critical situations because of the danger of doing more harm than good.

Some venoms may begin to dissolve tissues in the affected area.

If the pressure of the bandage is too high, the extremities may be affected and may result in amputation.

By releasing the pressure from the bandage, you may spread the poison more quickly, which is exactly what you wanted to avoid.


This is essentially the case, although there are still many other non-poisonous species in Thailand.

This first overview allows us to discover these animals that we can meet at random during a walk, in the countryside, in the forest, or even at home.

The most important thing in these cases... is to keep calm, and especially never rush, so as not to frighten these animals which can become very dangerous.

In Phuket, for example, there are more deaths by drowning per year...... than deaths due to snake bites!

  Serpentarium of the Pasteur Institute


Also to be noted:

In Bangkok, you can visit the SERPENTARIUM OF THE INSTITUTE PASTEUR

The Thai Red Cross Bangkok Snake Farm opens its doors to share with the public its knowledge of the country's reptilian fauna. Entertaining, fun, educational and sometimes frightening, the breeding centre offers an interesting visit.

Backed by the Red Cross Research Institute (Pastor) in Bangkok, the snake farm, a poisonous reptile breeding ground for the production of antidotes, was created in 1923 on the initiative of Queen Sawang Vadhana, then President of the Thai Red Cross. Today, the reptile breeding centre, still in operation, can be visited and offers various activities to the curious in order to get to know these fascinating animals better.

Thailand has more than 160 species of snakes on its soil, 48 of which are highly poisonous. This highlights the need to study these reptiles and to set up a research structure capable of developing anti-venomous preparations. The institute's laboratory also has the vocation to develop vaccines (such as BCG). The primary function of the farm is to breed reptiles essential for this research. And recently, it has made it its mission to communicate with the general public to inform everyone about the nature of its activities and, above all, to make the country's snakes and their habits better known.

Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute
TRCS
Thaï Red Cross
1871 Rama IV road
(Henry Dunant road)
Bangkok 10330
Tel. 02.252.01.61
Tel. 02.252.01.67
Fax. 02.254.02.12
Entry: 70 bahts


The centre welcomes visitors: every day from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and on weekends and public holidays from 8:30 am to 12 pm.
There are two reptile presentations per day on weekdays at 11:00 and 14:30 and only one on weekends and holidays at 11:00.

   Where to go in Phuket in case of a snake bite

A bad meeting is always possible, especially during the rainy season and during a violent rainstorm: snakes seek shelter, dry, and it is not uncommon to find themselves face to face with such a bug, even inside their house....
Below is a list of hospitals capable of administering adequate anti-venom to you.

 Cobra

Bangkok Phuket Hospital – 076 254425, 1719
Vachira Hospital – 076 361 234
Mission Hospital – 076 237220, 5
Thalang Hospital – 076 311 033
Siriroj Hospital /Phuket Internat. Hospital – 076 249400, 076 210 935
Takua Tung Hospital – 076 581 395
Patong Hospital – 076 342 633, 4
Emergency Medical Service (EMS) – 1669

 King Cobra

Vachira Hospital – 076 361 234
Thalang Hospital – 076 311 033

 Green Viper

Vachira Hospital – 076 361 234

 Banded Krait Snake

Vachira Hospital – 076 361 234

 Malayan Krait Snake

Vachira Hospital – 076 361 234

 Siamese Russell’s Viper Snake

Vachira Hospital – 076 361 234

 Rattle Snake

Bangkok Phuket Hospital – 076 254425, 1719
Vachira Hospital – 076 361 234
Mission Hospital – 076 237220, 5
Thalang Hospital – 076 311 033
Takua Tung Hospital – 076 581 395
Patong Hospital – 076 342 633, 4

It can be seen from these different vignettes that only the
Vachira Hospital - 076 361 234
is able to give you the right treatment for all types of snakes.
Being in a country where snakes are "common", it may come as a surprise that not all hospitals are equipped to help.
I can't see a person bitten by a snake consulting the list of snakes to choose the place to go... 
My conclusion will be simple... in case of a bite, try to remember the type of bug and go without hesitation to the
Vachira Hospital in Phuket.
Source article: Thanyapura Phuket

 Snake Show

A visit to a "Snake Show" is an excellent initiative and a very useful discovery that I recommend.

You see people playing with these reptiles, and it gives everyone an idea of how fast these creatures can act.
On the video below, one of the actors had bad luck. By dint of playing every day and several times a day, he ended up being bitten and died. This is unfortunately not the first accident...


  The site of the National Parks of Thailand....


You can find a very detailed list of snakes that are not included in this article.
Click on the image....

 Viper Bite in Slow... !

On the Menu... Cobra !