Many times we mentioned how hard is for our team to locate and capture new individuals for our study. Mostly we work with adult cobras. This time we were lucky. Our colleague, Tyler, encounter a juvenile spitter. Luckily for us it was moving in a fallow field and sheltered in a dirt crevasse. Nice and easy capture.
During last Sakaerat Najas Project late night survey we found Malayan Krait (Bungarus candidus). It is very venomous species active at night. This male was 1.3 m. Very yellow on ventral side of the body. Characteristic of this species are triangular body shape and bands that are equal size along all body (mimic species present in Thailand). In some part of the range snakes might be uniformly black. Venom of this species is potent. It has strong effect on nervous system. Tourniquet is needed in case of envenomation. Patient must be transported to the closest hospital. Always is best to leave all snakes alone or call for your local rescue crew. Remember killing them is dangerous.
On the night of 23.08.2017, we received a snake rescue call on a property from the village in which we work. We were informed that the boy who lived on the property heard their chickens were in distress. On inspection of the chicken coop, the boy found a cobra has envenomated one of the chickens. The boy had startled the snake as it had hooded at him and then made an escape.
Once we arrived at the scene, the chicken was found to have been bitten on the face and had to be euthanised at the scene to prevent any more suffering. A lot of effort was put into finding the snake by inspecting the property thoroughly by digging out any holes which the snake may be hiding, yet there was no luck.
We informed the residents of all information needed in case they encounter another cobra and told them do not hesitate to ring us if any snake returns.
The following day we received another call from the same residence saying a cobra was on the property. On arrival it was found that the cobra had returned to the exact same chicken coop. However, this time the snake had chose a toad as its meal, rather than chicken.
The snake noticed us and tried to make his escape, still with the toad in its mouth, but in its rush hit a wall and dropped its prey in the process. This enabled us to capture the snake and the toad. Remarkably, the toad survived for over 10 hours after envenomation.
Snake is a healthy adult male of Indochinese Spitting Cobra Naja siamensis.
After good amount of outreach local villagers were happy to hear about our project and allowed us to visit their property any time we need to radiotrack our snakes or look for new ones. Additionally they were persuading their neighbors about importance of our work in the village. LOVE IT.
With a lot of hard work and help from our short term intern Kawinwit Kittipalawattanapol, otherwise known as Ink, the project recently produced a new leaflet. Aimed at the villagers around the station, the pamphlet not only introduced the projects goals and aims, but also included important information on commonly encountered snake species in the area and snake bite first aid.
Once completed and printed, the next task was to get out into the village and hand them out. After some hard bargaining we managed to enlist the help of our two young thai speaking friends Leo and Hans, the sons of Bart’s PhD co-adviser Dr Jacques Hill, for the hefty price of a double scoop ice cream each. So with the deal made we headed out to meet and greet our neighbours and get the word out.
Happy World Snake Day! 🙂
Over the last few months we’ve had a decent number of Indochinese Spitting Cobras captured within the rural areas of Sakaerat Biosphere Research Centre. Things are a bit different with Monocled Cobras, which are found mainly in forested areas and are harder to encounter. That is why it was great news when one of our fellow researchers (Katie and Wyatt) noticed a big individual in the plantation forest.
The large male was crossing a dirt road before he was spooked by the researchers and retreated under a rock. It took a while but with the help of our colleagues Curtis was finally able to dig him out and capture him.
Naka021 proved to be the second biggest cobra we have had in our project at 1.5 kg and 1.75 m long.
This individual did not like to be handle at all and I must admit, it was the most ballsy kaouthia I ever worked with.
Additionally just two days before Wolfgang Wüster and friends published their paper
this snake spat twice during our planned photo session. Because of its attitude photos in studio were not possible, but luckily we managed to get some shots during the release of this magnificent individual.
One of the venomous species found around Sakaerat SERS station is Banded Krait (Bungarus fasciatus). This Is large species of the family Elapidae that can grow to over 2 m. This snakes are nocturnal animals. They feed mainly on other serpents. It is not easy to find them here.
Our colleague Tyler Knierim is conducting his master research on this species. Recently at lest one of his females was nesting and I was lucky enough to photograph two neonates in my studio. As you can see from the picture coloration of the neonates is more pale than adults individuals. They will gain more yellow colour with each shedding.
Kraits have a very interesting form of the defensive behavior. The hide their heads under the body coils while exposing their blunt ended tail. Once they will feel threaten they will strike energetically to the side.
Hope you enjoy the photos.