Since Thailand is a tropical country there is an abundance of venomous and non-venomous snakes. Some of these snakes can be found in the vicinity of human habitats, probably because easy prey (chickens, ducks, rats, mice and sometimes even dogs) is available.
It is therefore very helpful to know as much as possible about these animals, especially about their behaviour. We hope that these pages can help save your life or the lives of others.
Since humans are not the preferred prey of snakes (except in the movies) there is normally little danger from these mostly timid animals. However, if they feel threatened, some of them can be most deadly indeed. Most accidents happen through carelessness and not being aware of your immediate environment.
Your steps make vibrations that are immediately sensed by these animals and they normally flee the scene as quickly as possible. You should therefore step powerfully when you’re wandering through high grass. This simple method is one of the most effective methods of prevention available. If however you are faced with a snake in your path, give it the possibility to escape and 9 out of 10 times the snake will do so. Stay calm at all times.
The most dangerous time is at dusk and at night, especially since your own sight is limited so be very careful at this time of day.
Away from normal human habitats (e.g. on a trekking tour) you should be equipped with strong boots or trekking shoes and long sturdy trousers. This precaution is very effective.
Please do not kill these animals unnecessarily. They play their part in nature by controlling pests and rodents. The only time that you should kill a snake is if you are bitten. You should then bring the dead snake along for identification, so that you will get the right antidote.
In your immediate neighbourhood, you should only tolerate harmless or non-aggressive snakes. If you are confronted with dangerous snakes, try to catch them safely or have them removed by experts who know what they are doing. Ask your neighbours and ask around to find out who can deal with snakes, so that you contact them if necessary without further delay.
The self-made catcher in this picture has already proven its worth many times over. The apparatus is made from water pipes and is over 2 meters long. A strong rope goes through the water pipe with a loop at the end that can be tightened from your side of the pipe. You will have to try to place the loop around the head of the snake and tighten the rope, but not so tightly that you kill the animal. Then the snake must be placed in a tight cotton bag. If possible, release the snake into the wild at a safe distance from your home, or bring it to a snake farm if you know of one.
Cobras should be handled with extreme care and only when wearing protective glasses, since some of them can spit venom with extreme accuracy into your eyes up to 3 meters away.
Venomous animals in Thailand
Common snakes in Thailand
Mildly venomous and non-venomous snakes
DIY Snake catcher
First Aid after a snake bite
Emergency telephone numbers
All data is provided without guarantee!