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'I don't recommend you do this': Thailand's stealthy snake wrangler

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'I don't recommend you do this': Thailand's stealthy snake wrangler

Jiraporn Kuhakan, Soe Zeya Tun

 

Reuters.jpg

A white-lipped pit viper snake is seen at a fire station in Bangkok, Thailand, August 7, 2019. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

 

BANGKOK (Reuters) - In the dead of night, Thai firefighter Pinyo Pukpinyo stealthily approaches a python coiled around the rafters of a home in Bangkok, and quickly grabs its head with his bare hands.

 

“I need to remain steady and calm,” says the 50-year-old, as he pulls the fat snake, almost five meters (16 ft) long, off the roof and wrestles it into a rice sack.

 

“This snake is very strong. If I make a wrong move, I could get bitten because it has very sharp fangs,” he added.

 

“I don’t recommend you do this because it’s dangerous.”

 

The family living in the house watch in awe from afar, recording the spectacle on a smartphone.

 

“I’m really impressed with his skills, how he can catch a snake that long with his bare hands and fit it in such a small bag,” said homeowner Janpen Jarudecha, 60, visibly relieved as she emerged from hiding.    

 

Many homes in the Thai capital are visited by snakes, which live in underground canals and enter gardens or toilets during the rainy season in search of food.

 

In 2018, disaster prevention officials said they received 37,000 reports of home intrusions by snakes around Bangkok.

 

Bangkok firefighters spend more time catching snakes than putting out fires, with more than 100 snake encroachments a day in recent months, compared to just one or two fires, data from the city’s fire and rescue department shows.

 

A self-styled ‘snake wrangler’, Pukpinyo has caught about 10,000 snakes during the 16 years he has performed this dangerous task. The fire station in northeast Bangkok where he works gets more than 3,000 telephone calls a year seeking help with snakes.

 

Pukpinyo says he traps up to 800 snakes each year, about 70% non-venomous pythons, while the rest are cobras and other venomous snakes. The venomous reptiles are taken to a specialist institute that extracts snake venom to make an antidote.

 

In his free time at the fire station, Pukpinyo cares for the captured snakes, taking king cobras out of their cages to feed them. He also runs classes on how to handle snakes safely.

 

As a firefighter, Pukpinyo says he often grapples with loss, but his snake-catching talent gives him solace.

 

“This job makes me feel like I’m a superhero,” he said. “I’m taking care of people who are in danger and in need of help, which makes me happy.”

 

Additional reporting by Artorn Pookasook; Writing by Patpicha Tanakasempipat; Editing by Karishma Singh and Clarence Fernandez

 

 

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I have always given snakes a wide berth...been confronted by aggressive cotton mouths on more than one fishing trip.  Rattlesnakes move across my US property when moving from their summer home to their winter home.  I don't even handle them when they are dead.  Kudos to the Thai snake wrangler...👍

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

“This job makes me feel like I’m a superhero,”

That you are, Snakeman!

 

Image result for snakeman super hero

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48 minutes ago, Puchaiyank said:

I have always given snakes a wide berth...been confronted by aggressive cotton mouths on more than one fishing trip.  Rattlesnakes move across my US property when moving from their summer home to their winter home.  I don't even handle them when they are dead.  Kudos to the Thai snake wrangler...👍

Where I lived in the US I never saw a rattle snake but we had plenty of moccasins and copper heads

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Just now, Fred white said:

Where I lived in the US I never saw a rattle snake but we had plenty of moccasins and copper heads

I mostly grew up on the Left coast, where rattlers, for the most part, give plenty of warning.  That's the spooky thing here in Thailand.  Step out on the patio at night and get nailed by a Cobra or a Krait that might be resting or just passing through.  That said, all but one of the many snake encounters I've had since living here, subburbs and out in the countryside, have been mild or non-venomous common species.  Only 1 Cobra in all that time. 

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46 minutes ago, 55Jay said:

I mostly grew up on the Left coast, where rattlers, for the most part, give plenty of warning.  That's the spooky thing here in Thailand.  Step out on the patio at night and get nailed by a Cobra or a Krait that might be resting or just passing through.  That said, all but one of the many snake encounters I've had since living here, subburbs and out in the countryside, have been mild or non-venomous common species.  Only 1 Cobra in all that time. 

I'm in the sticks I've seen maybe 3 or 4 snakes in the 2 years we have lived here 1 was a python that was trapped in a fish net he was alive so I managed to get it out maybe <deleted> off whoever owned the net cause I cut it up, then some long skinny green snakes don't know what they were didn't ask they went their way I went mine. Still haven't seen a cobra but would like to just not by surprise

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4 minutes ago, Fred white said:

I'm in the sticks I've seen maybe 3 or 4 snakes in the 2 years we have lived here 1 was a python that was trapped in a fish net he was alive so I managed to get it out maybe <deleted> off whoever owned the net cause I cut it up, then some long skinny green snakes don't know what they were didn't ask they went their way I went mine. Still haven't seen a cobra but would like to just not by surprise

Right on about the python. :thumbsup:  Bummer about the fisherman's loss and net damage.  Snake after some easy grub.   

 

Long, skinny green snake (with black line pattern in varying degrees) is likely to be the very common Golden Tree Snake.   Rear fanged, mild venom designed for their prey, of no signifcant medical issue for humans and dogs.  If one ever does latch on, calmly and gently remove it, don't let it chew on ya' too much as that is the process to release venom.

 

Good to have around the house although dogs will probably attack and kill out of instinct.  Some humans mimic that behavior, which isn't a ringing endorsement for our otherwise intelligent, thinking species.

 

image.png.e72372f6b8f990222e0a3719037f7bba.png

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Someone, Quick, tell me where the 'LEFT COAST' is so I can avoid going there and avoid those noisy Rattlers.

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49 minutes ago, oldrunner said:

Someone, Quick, tell me where the 'LEFT COAST' is so I can avoid going there and avoid those noisy Rattlers.

West of the Sipamippi, beyond the desert and over the coastal range to the promised land, where dragons roam, and purple haired soccer Moms battle plastic shopping bags, global warming and rampant peanut allergies from air conditioned, gas guzzling SUVs. 

 

Did someone say Rattlesnakes?  Here's an Eastern DB in Georgia, pretty cool footage.

 

 

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Rattlesnakes cotton mouths Phuey!!! Tangle with a king brown tiger or taipan now that’s  venom for ya !!!!

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4 hours ago, oldrunner said:

Someone, Quick, tell me where the 'LEFT COAST' is so I can avoid going there and avoid those noisy Rattlers.

It's out there where pelosie and a few others reside I would trust the rattlers more and at least the rattle snakes have a use

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Tropposurfer said:

Rattlesnakes cotton mouths Phuey!!! Tangle with a king brown tiger or taipan now that’s  venom for ya !!!

 

Edited by Fred white
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