Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 29
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Last Online
    16-03-2013 @ 03:07 PM
    Location
    The forests of Thailand
    Posts
    173

    KAENG KRACHAN: The Kingdom’s largest national park – Part Three

    Rare creatures still living in this amazing forest


    Fea’s muntjac male in the forest of Kaeng Krachan

    There is a very unique mammal endemic to Thailand’s western flank and the Tenassarim mountain range. It is the Fea’s muntjac considered rare throughout its range. However, this small deer survive quite well in Kaeng Krachan mainly around the headwaters of the Phetchaburi River. I have camera-trapped a male and female crossing the river, and a mature male near kilometre 33 shown below. They are found in other parts of the park but have been persecuted like the other mammals living here.


    Fea’s muntjac camera-trapped at Kilometer 33 on Phanern Thung mountain

    The Fea’s muntjac is a small ungulate in the cervidae family. The coat of this even-toed ungulate is dark brown with the underside of the tail white rimmed with black. The male’s antlers are yellow and smaller then the red muntjac or common barking deer antlers that are brown, but body size and behaviour is identical. Both species are fleet-footed and their bark (distress call) is indistinguishable. They are just another species that needs top-notch protection to survive into the future.


    Male muntjac camera-trapped at a mineral lick



    Common barking deer or red muntjac feeding on leaves

    Other ungulates found in Kaeng Krachan include gaur, tapir, sambar, serow and wild pig. Banteng are probably now extirpated here. The lesser and greater mouse deer are also quite common and found in most areas of the park. All these ungulates are prime prey species for the tiger and leopard.


    Gaur cow at a mineral lick in the interior



    Small gaur herd at another mineral lick



    Gaur very large bull and smaller cow footprint compared to my hand


    One of my greatest wildlife photographs ever is catching a tapir in daylight during late afternoon by the river that made the cover of my third book, Wild Rivers. These two-toned creatures are striking indeed and seeing one jump out of the forest on the opposite bank and dive into the water was an amazing day for me, and the beginning and inspiration for the book.



    Asian tapir swimming in the Phetchaburi River



    Tapir camera-trapped by the Phetchaburi River



    Serow camera-trapped on an old logging road in the park


    There are several herds of elephant and many solitary bulls that thrive in the interior. Tuskers are now rare but tusk-less bulls are more common. Natural selection has played a role in the elephant’s evolution here and bulls with no teeth survive better. This phenomena, is actually found throughout the Kingdom’s forests where elephants survive.


    Tusker camera-trapped at a mineral deposit at kilometre 12



    Tuskless bull elephant in 'musth' camera-trapped at the same location on the logging road


    As previously mentioned, big cats including the Indochinese tiger and Asian leopard (both black and yellow phase) survive in fair numbers and actually have overlapping territories in some areas. When I was camera-trapping the Phetchaburi River from 2003-2005, I caught both species of carnivore on just about every camera as they hunted the riverbanks using the same overlapping trails. It was simply amazing how these predators kept out of each other’s way. But is has been documented elsewhere that tigers in fact will kill and eat leopards.


    Tiger camera-trapped at a mineral lick in the interior



    Tiger caught by camera-trap by the Phetchaburi River


    Tiger bones are in big demand and that has certainly been the downfall of the species. It is said a sack of tiger bones now fetches 100,000 Baht (recently, poachers were busted just outside Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary and revealed a tiger was sold for three hundred thousand), and this creates serious incentive for some poor people to poach these apex predators. The Chinese and Vietnamese are the biggest buyers of black market tiger bones and the cat’s demise rests squarely on their shoulders. And what is pitiful, there is no stopping them with the population explosion, and the demand is also growing dramatically.


    Leopard camera-trapped on a nature trail

    Unfortunately, protection and enforcement is at a minimum in Kaeng Krachan, and poachers slip through the knot and carry out their deadly trade. It is quite possible they have already decimated the tiger population in the park as recent reports from rangers that tiger tracks are not seen that often in the areas where I worked. Other predators and prey species have also been affected by this onslaught.


    Indian civet caught near a campground in the park

    Other smaller cats known are the rare fishing cat, golden cat, clouded leopard and marbled cat can still be found here, but their numbers are unknown. But their presence still indicates an extremely pristine habitat. Abundant prey animals are the secret to a successful predator population with no human element or influence.


    Banded linsang camera-trapped on a dry streambed

    Two very rare omnivores are the banded linsang and banded palm civet living in the interior. I have camera-trapped both species. Other carnivores like the sun bear and Asiatic black bear are also still quite common and I have trapped them too. I once found a tiger scat with the remains of a sun bear including it claws by the river. Another common predator is the large Indian civet found in most areas.


    Banded palm civet camera-trapped by a stream deep in the interior

    The King Cobra, the largest poisonous reptile in the world, makes the Phetchaburi River its home and I have seen several including one real close-encounter. My team and I were up-river close to the headwaters when we bumped into one slithering along the bank hunting for prey. I pulled out my camera and fired off a few shots before it U-turned disappearing in an instant. It was a bit of a heart stopper to say the least.


    A king cobra hunting for prey by the river



    A green pit-viper and carpenter ant on a small tree

    Another snake is the green pit viper with several species found in the park. The danger with this reptile is its habit of hanging absolutely still on a branch and when a person sweeps the vegetation, it strikes quick with potent venom. Some people have not made it back to the hospital in time. It is a two-day walk to the nearest road where I normally work. Many other reptiles and amphibians, some quite rare such as the horny tree frog, giant tree frog and the Asian brown tortoise that thrive by the streams and river.


    Horny tree frog in a stream deep in the park


    Giant tree frog further upstream

    More than 400 species of birds have been recorded in Kaeng Krachan. The extremely rare Rachet-tailed treepie found only around Phanern Thung Mountain and some mountains in Laos and Vietnam. I was able to photograph the buffy fish-owl and Javan frogmouth along the Phetchaburi River. Hornbill species include the great, Oriental pied, brown and the wreathed.


    Oriental Pied hornbill nesting


    Great hornbill flying out of a tree


    Wreathed hornbill at a nest

    Other uncommon birds include the Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, also known as the black-backed kingfisher is the smallest species in the Kingdom. I was lucky to get some really close shots of this individual building a nest not far from Ban Krang ranger station. The blue-bearded and red-bearded bee-eaters also are common in the park and I have photographed both of them at several locations. An amazing bird is the black-and-red broadbill shown here. They are found along the road and streambeds where they nest.



    Oriental dwarf kingfisher near it nest


    Pied kingfishers with a fish on a tree branch


    Blue-bearded bee-eater with a beetle for its chicks


    Red-bearded bee-eater close to it nest in a sandbank

    My ranger friend Sutat Sapphu and I were once setting camera-traps near the headwaters when the largest kingfisher in Thailand flashed by. It is the crested kingfisher. Unfortunately, I have no photos of this bird yet. It is similar to the pied kingfisher but much larger.



    Javan Frogmouth photographed by the Phetchaburi River


    It was however the first sighting in the park and my close friend and associate Philip D. Round, Thailand’s eminent ornithologist confirmed it with the Bird Society of Thailand and the Oriental Bird Club in London. They are normally found further north in Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary and Mae Wong National Park, and it was quite a surprise for the bird community. The second largest kingfisher is the stork-billed and I have photographed one by the river.



    Lesser fish-eagle chick exercising its wings on the nest high up a very tall tree

    Another rare bird is the lesser fish-eagle thriving up and down the Phetchaburi River. Fish are very plentiful in the waterway and these raptors are seen often up and down the river. Once after a weeklong trip downstream, my team and I were just about to leave the river. I noticed a fish-eagle fly out of a nest at the top of a very large tree. Just then, a young chick stuck its head up in the air. This was 6pm and it was too dark to take any photos but I vowed to climb the near vertical slope opposite the nesting birds the next morning.


    Chick and mother fish eagle on the nest the next morning

    After a quick coffee, I went up without my camera first to check out the terrain. It was tough going but I finally got to a point where I could observe the raptors straight across and quickly decided to go get my Minolta camera, 600mm lens and tripod. The female flew away but I concealed myself and she eventually came back feeding the young one. I could not stop shooting and went through three rolls of film (pre-digital days). It was exciting seeing the young raptor bouncing up and down in the nest flexing its wings. I finally made my way back to camp.


    Lesser fish-eagle perched on a tree limb above the river

    Another time down river when I was waiting for the Siamese crocodile, a lesser fish-eagle flew in and landed behind my blind. My second camera with a 300mm lens was pointed almost straight towards the bird perched on a tree branch, and so I let off a series of shots catching the raptor unawares. It was a lucky day photographing the croc, otter, water monitor and the eagle mentioned in part two. I published this story on my website:


    River carp in the Phetchaburi River

    Primates include the stump-tailed, pig-tailed and crab-eating macaques, white-handed gibbon plus dusky and ???? langurs that thrive around Phanern Thung mountain, the core area for wildlife. In the old days, both gibbon and langur could be seen almost daily because many fruit trees are found here, and visitation was low.


    Gibbon hanging from a bamboo on Phanern Thung mountaintop


    Dusky langur near the Phanern Thung ranger station



    Stumped-tailed macaque by the river

    Kaeng Krachan National Park is an amazing place but is fraught with poor management and protection. There are many other animals and ecosystems not mentioned here but this place is truly one of Thailand’s greatest protected areas.

    It takes lots of hard work to get down to the river and collect photographs of the creatures thriving there. But diligence, determination, the right equipment, money and with good guides, is also within the reach of serious amateur photographers or naturalists who just want to look. The opportunities are endless. It is hoped this place will survive into the future, so that generations to come can also enjoy the beauty of nature in Thailand’s largest national park.



    Rainbow over the Phetchaburi River

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    THE NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF DEVELOPMENT IN KAENG KRACHAN

    This has taken a downturn due to increasing the campground area to make way for more tourists. A chicken shop is now doing business at the top. Development is a negative aspect of the national parks here, and throughout the Kingdom for that matter.


    New chicken shop at the Phanern Thung ranger station

    Construction has been carried out and one place in particular; at kilometre 18, a big hole is being dug to make a water tank because there was not enough water for last year’s increased visitation, and people began defecating around in the forest. There is a big 10-wheeler and backhoe there now working non-stop. These mindless people have destroyed a world-renown bird watching site and who knows how many hair-brain schemes are in the works.


    Ten-wheeled truck and back-hoe digging a deep hole at Kilometer 18

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++

    THE DANGERS OF THE FOREST IN KAENG KRACHAN


    Kaeng Krachan is fraught with danger and a heads-up on the things that can cut, bite, maim, sting, or kill are real. I would say the deadliest is the little Anopholes mosquito that carries Plasmodium falcipharm malaria (celebral malaria) to be number one. A friend of mine from France may have died from the disease after he made a trip with me down to the river. But he was stubborn and would not wear a shirt most of the time. I tried my best to encourage him to cover up but he complained it was too hot. He passed away six months after returning back home.

    I sincerely miss Laurent but I also caught the dreaded disease and just survived after a complete blood exchange transfusion was carried out on me. The doctors at Vichaiyut Hospital in Bangkok are experts in this medical treatment and I thank my lucky stars and the Spirits of the Wild that I was saved just in the nick of time.

    You can say I now have Thai blood flowing in my veins as B-negative, my blood type needed to be sourced at several hospitals around Bangkok. It was a close call and I now watch myself very closely whenever I enter this or any forest. I do try and stay away during the rainy season when the Anopholes mosquito is thriving. My mistake was taking a bath in a stream after the sun had gone down. The little critters would attack me from behind and bite my back and legs as I was washing. I can tell you, don’t catch P. falcipharm. Good prevention with loads of repellent, thick clothing, and sleeping under a mosquito net is the trick. PF as it is known in short, is a real killer!

    Ticks are real bad nuisance as some have serious illnesses that can eventually kill. They seem to latch on everywhere and it takes continuous checks of ones’ body. These little bloodsuckers should never be under estimated. Leeches are very common and they also can be irritating but fortunately have no viral infections. However, if bitten with many bites, one could develop infection and a fever especially if your resistance is low. Again, remove them as soon as possible and use antiseptic ointment to prevent infection.

    I could on and on about the dangers of working in a forest like this. The most important thing is to go with a good guide or at least someone with good knowledge of this place. Also, let people know where you are going and for how long. It is unwise to go trekking here without supervision.

    Some cavers were caught inside a cave that got flooded killing them all down in Khao Sok National Park which means, they should not have been there during the rainy season. Poor guides will get you in trouble. Flash floods are devastating if you are not careful. The most important fact, use common sense when entering any forest and don’t take anything for granted!
    Last edited by Bruce Kekule; 07-07-2011 at 10:44 AM.

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat Bobcock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    15,842
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Kekule
    I can tell you, don’t catch P. falcipharm.
    Don't intend to, that's why I photograph temples and markets and leave the brave shit up to you.

    Another great thread, when's the next book out? or did I miss it with the hectic year I've had? (Wild Rivers was the last I have)

  3. #3
    Member
    pescator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Last Online
    16-04-2018 @ 02:34 PM
    Location
    Scandia
    Posts
    522
    Great thread, Bruce. Thnx for sharing.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
    alwarner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Last Online
    03-05-2018 @ 09:41 AM
    Location
    Location: Location.
    Posts
    5,126
    Just wow! brilliant pics.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    5,699
    Fantastic stuff yet again, Bruce. Thanks for this.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Last Online
    16-03-2013 @ 03:07 PM
    Location
    The forests of Thailand
    Posts
    173

    CORRECTION: silvered langur and black-and-red broadbill

    ???? langur should read silvered langur in the paragraph on primates.

    The black-and-red broadbill photographs as follows:


    Black-and-red broadbill with a bamboo leaf


    Black-and-red broadbill building a nest near Ban Krang ranger station

    Regrets on the mistake. Will try to be a little more careful next time!

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Last Online
    16-03-2013 @ 03:07 PM
    Location
    The forests of Thailand
    Posts
    173
    Bobcock, thanks for that. It is an occupational hazard that needs constant scrutiny. I stay out when it is raining and do more work at home. My next book is about wildlife in Thailand and Kenya as a comparison. I will be posting a thread on Africa real soon. Cheers.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Last Online
    16-03-2013 @ 03:07 PM
    Location
    The forests of Thailand
    Posts
    173
    pescator, thanks and it's my pleasure as usual.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Last Online
    16-03-2013 @ 03:07 PM
    Location
    The forests of Thailand
    Posts
    173
    Alwarner; Thank you. It has taken some time to put this all together but I'm happy to share. Cheers

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Last Online
    16-03-2013 @ 03:07 PM
    Location
    The forests of Thailand
    Posts
    173
    Natalie8, My pleasure. It was fun pulling out all those old photos. Still have a lot more but that will do for now. Africa is next! Cheers

  11. #11
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Last Online
    14-08-2011 @ 05:02 PM
    Location
    Split, Croatia
    Posts
    8
    Thank you Mr. Kekule for these beautiful photographs. Your threads are truly unique; very few photographs of wild animals from Thailand exist anywhere on the web, in books or even in museums. This is in contrast to places like Kenya, or even India, where there is far less poaching so wildlife can be viewed and photographed by ordinary tourists.

    It is also sad to learn that tigers in Kaeng Krachan have probably declined in numbers. Still present in only a few places in the whole of South-East Asia, and those are going out one by one; this makes me incrediby sad and angry. In India, they just might make it, but I fear for the last tigers of Thailand, Burma, Malaysia and Laos...in China, Cambodia and Viet Nam they are quite likely finished already.
    Last edited by Saola71; 08-07-2011 at 11:30 PM.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Last Online
    16-03-2013 @ 03:07 PM
    Location
    The forests of Thailand
    Posts
    173

    Tigers

    Saola71,

    Thank you for your kind words on my work, it truly is a pleasure to share my wildlife photographs with people from around the world.

    Yes, it is sad and it makes me cringe the way things have gone in regards to the tiger, their prey species and habitat conservation. Most of the chiefs of the national parks are only interested is development and money making!

    Protection and enforcement in the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks where tigers still occur is the most important factor relating to the survival of the whole ecosystem but is very poor for the most part. I have been on the ground and know very well what goes on.

    A New York based NGO in charge of the rangers at several locations is only interested in research, transect surveys and data gathering. They pull rangers away from their stations to carryout this business. Another tiger researcher from the US is putting collars on tigers but not contributing to protection at all.

    I'm not against research, but it will not save the tiger as they claim. In India, tigers were wiped out from several parks right under the researcher's noses and this is documented!

    Serious protection and enforcement is the only key but I don't see things improving much and this is truly sad. Sorry to be so negative but I know what goes on. Thanks again for your comments.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat
    good2bhappy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Last Online
    16-04-2017 @ 04:52 PM
    Location
    Klong Samwa
    Posts
    15,309
    Thanks for the Indian Civet pic
    wondered what I had seen
    That pic of the king c gave me the willies!
    A close encounter ........SCARY, had a couple myself

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Last Online
    16-03-2013 @ 03:07 PM
    Location
    The forests of Thailand
    Posts
    173
    good2bhappy,

    Yes the King Cobra was a bit scary but they are not normally aggressive unless provoked or you get between a female and her eggs, or you bump into one. My boys told me once they were walking a trail when they came upon one. It raised up and began hissing at the team. They backed up quickly.

    Another time me and my team were setting up camera-traps in a mineral lick when a big one showed and rose up. I told everyone to stay still. It finally slid back the way it had come. A few tense moments for sure.

    Snakes are scary without a doubt. Fortunately, most of them stay out of human's way. The pit viper however, will hang on a branch and strike quickly. If bitten, get back ASAP. In Kaeng Krachan along the Phetchaburi River, it's almost a two day walk back to the nearest road. That's the one you have to look out for. A pit-viper photo attached.

    Another scary one is a big reticulated python. They don't know if you are a pig or deer as they drop from the trees above. They can swallow you whole....! Now that is the one I'm afraid of.

    Thanks for the comments. Best wishes.


    A pit-viper swallowing a skink
    Last edited by Bruce Kekule; 10-07-2011 at 05:20 PM.

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat
    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Last Online
    08-09-2014 @ 10:43 AM
    Location
    Simian Islands
    Posts
    34,827
    Great stuff as usual, Bruce. A privilege to have you on TD sharing your work with us.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Last Online
    16-03-2013 @ 03:07 PM
    Location
    The forests of Thailand
    Posts
    173
    Marmite the Dog,

    Thank you for your kind words. It is a pleasure. I have loads of wildlife photographs and info on Thailand's amazing natural heritage that I hope to share over time. In fact I have so many photos, I don't even know the full extent of my library but I'm working at getting it organized.

    A reticulated python I once saw while driving into the park at night. It was about 8 meters long and I kept my distance. It eventually U-turned back into the forest where it came from and boy was it fast. Cheers.

    Last edited by Bruce Kekule; 11-07-2011 at 01:34 PM.

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat
    good2bhappy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Last Online
    16-04-2017 @ 04:52 PM
    Location
    Klong Samwa
    Posts
    15,309
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Kekule
    Yes the King Cobra was a bit scary but they are not normally aggressive unless provoked or you get between a female and her eggs, or you bump into one.
    Had one in the garden last month
    It turned around and scaled the wall when it felt me coming towards it

  18. #18
    Valve Master Latindancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    9,883
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Kekule View Post
    good2bhappy,

    Yes the King Cobra was a bit scary but they are not normally aggressive unless provoked or you get between a female and her eggs, or you bump into one.
    I _WAS_ going to post a photo, but having never done this on Teakdoor before (despite 155 posts) , and seeing as how it's such an unbelievably involved process for a first-timer, I won't; I'll just tell this amusing story instead.

    My wife's uncle Waeng is a SNAKE MAN! He has been in the business for many years, though he doesn't still handle them himself. Thirty years ago he got bitten on the thumb by a KING cobra, which unlike an ordinary cobra sometimes locks itself on for a while rather than letting go.....plus it has it has enough venom to kill 30 or 40 people (this is true: I looked it up on Wikipedia). He knew he would be dead if he didn't do something quick, so he chopped off half of his left thumb. You can see it was long ago, because the brown pigmentation has returned to the thumb stump (bottom joint). It looks neat, so I guess a doctor trimmed it up in hospital after the chop. Then about 10 years ago, he was bitten on the back of the other hand by an "ordinary" cobra, and the scar is still pinkish.....the brown pigment has only half returned. It's a nasty scar, and you can see the flesh has deteriorated underneath some time ago.
    But that's not all....get THIS : He was in Thai boxing / snake show as a young man (not sure if it was before or after the thumb incident). I have read they sometimes kiss the snake on the back of the head at the end of the show, and in fact he was bitten on the TONGUE by an "ordinary" cobra......no bullshit.
    I daresay he felt a tad silly after this.
    He took some herbal medicine all snake men carry to counteract venom and then fell unconscious for half an hour, during which time his heart stopped. But his friends revived him, and he went to hospital. Subsequently he could not speak for a year, and all (or at least most ) of his teeth fell out. He speaks fairly good English, and I had an interesting chat with him, though he was a little difficult to understand, with a Thai accent, and as he was not wearing his false teeth. His eyes seem to roll around a little sometimes....I guess the muscles were affected.



    Tags:
    Last edited by Latindancer; 11-07-2011 at 03:19 PM.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat
    good2bhappy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Last Online
    16-04-2017 @ 04:52 PM
    Location
    Klong Samwa
    Posts
    15,309
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Kekule
    It was about 8 meters long
    that is a giant

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Last Online
    16-03-2013 @ 03:07 PM
    Location
    The forests of Thailand
    Posts
    173
    Latindancer,

    Now that is a snake story. Don't get bitten is my motto! But when I go in to any forest, I always pray to the Spirits of the Wild', it seems to work. My next thread will be about Huai Kha Khaeng over a 15 year period of photography. There will be old, recent and new images. Cheers.

  21. #21
    Newbie Poisian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Last Online
    18-01-2016 @ 10:25 PM
    Location
    Kamphang Saen
    Posts
    40

    Amazing work!

    Thanks for posting!

  22. #22
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Last Online
    23-06-2014 @ 11:30 PM
    Posts
    1,235
    I'm impressed. Makes me want to go out and buy a new DSLR and get back into photography.

    Good work.

  23. #23
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Last Online
    20-05-2012 @ 03:17 PM
    Location
    Pattaya
    Posts
    20
    Lovely place indeed, there are some amazing National Parks here, I need to get out and travel more, thanks for sharing your images

  24. #24
    Member mackayae's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Last Online
    27-04-2018 @ 03:50 PM
    Location
    Udon
    Posts
    374
    Great thread. Thanks.

  25. #25
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Last Online
    23-06-2014 @ 11:30 PM
    Posts
    1,235
    Quote Originally Posted by Latindancer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Kekule View Post
    good2bhappy,

    Yes the King Cobra was a bit scary but they are not normally aggressive unless provoked or you get between a female and her eggs, or you bump into one.
    I _WAS_ going to post a photo, but having never done this on Teakdoor before (despite 155 posts) , and seeing as how it's such an unbelievably involved process for a first-timer, I won't; I'll just tell this amusing story instead.

    My wife's uncle Waeng is a SNAKE MAN! He has been in the business for many years, though he doesn't still handle them himself. Thirty years ago he got bitten on the thumb by a KING cobra, which unlike an ordinary cobra sometimes locks itself on for a while rather than letting go.....plus it has it has enough venom to kill 30 or 40 people (this is true: I looked it up on Wikipedia). He knew he would be dead if he didn't do something quick, so he chopped off half of his left thumb. You can see it was long ago, because the brown pigmentation has returned to the thumb stump (bottom joint). It looks neat, so I guess a doctor trimmed it up in hospital after the chop. Then about 10 years ago, he was bitten on the back of the other hand by an "ordinary" cobra, and the scar is still pinkish.....the brown pigment has only half returned. It's a nasty scar, and you can see the flesh has deteriorated underneath some time ago.
    But that's not all....get THIS : He was in Thai boxing / snake show as a young man (not sure if it was before or after the thumb incident). I have read they sometimes kiss the snake on the back of the head at the end of the show, and in fact he was bitten on the TONGUE by an "ordinary" cobra......no bullshit.
    I daresay he felt a tad silly after this.
    He took some herbal medicine all snake men carry to counteract venom and then fell unconscious for half an hour, during which time his heart stopped. But his friends revived him, and he went to hospital. Subsequently he could not speak for a year, and all (or at least most ) of his teeth fell out. He speaks fairly good English, and I had an interesting chat with him, though he was a little difficult to understand, with a Thai accent, and as he was not wearing his false teeth. His eyes seem to roll around a little sometimes....I guess the muscles were affected.



    Tags:
    Great story. I remember back in the mid-70s watching a guy play with a King Cobra that was about 9 feet long. It was out in the open in Bang Saen by the Market area.

    The snake would try and get away by heading towards the ring of people watching them, and the snake guy would grab the snake about 2/3rds down its body.

    The snake would turn and face the guy, and then lung at him. The guy, who held only a towel-sized rag to fend off the snakes thrusts, would "snap" the snake like a whip, in order to counter-act the snakes' lunges.

    It was facinating to watch. The purpose was to sell "snake potion" to the Thai crowds.

    I also watched a film about a city where Thai people make their living by handling King Cobras and putting on shows. During the film, one guy was bitten. He drank liters and liters of water soaked with the "snake potion" and threw up repeatedly.
    He went to a clinic where the bite site was disinfected and then was observed for a few hours to see if he would die.

    He survived, but lost part of his thumb (maybe it was your wife's uncle?).

    RickThai

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •