Banded Krait (Bungaris fasciatus) What a color!
The Red Cross QSMI Snake Farm in central Bangkok was listed as a top attraction on trip advisor. Given my fascination with snakes and inclination towards natural history attractions I put it near the top of my list. I mentioned it to Jim who dissuaded me. After further research I concluded that I would give it a shot. Thailand has something of a network of sketchy “snake farms,” (and other zoos for that matter) that grow animals for food, keep them in squalid conditions, and offer non-educational/ shock value shows. This place I was assured was anything but.
White Lipped Pit Viper (Trimeresurus albolabris)
And so it was. The displays here were outstanding. All the animals looked exceedingly healthy. The collection was impressive, and the show given simultaneously in English and Thai was exciting and informative. The institute is also the main source of anti-venom in South-East Asia and the importance of this service becomes all too clear when you look down a list of the species that occur locally. The impressive exhibits included no fewer than 7 king cobras, many other cobra, viper and non-venomous species. The copper-headed rat snake’s defensive posturing and strike was new to me. I also viewed a good collection of preserved specimens with excellent information to boot. Here are a few photos:
Easy dude, you’re just a rat snake! Copper Headed Rat Snake (Coelonathus radiatus)
Siamese Cobra (Naja Siamensis)
This photo kinda kreeps me out. Burmese Pythons (Python molurus bivittatus) near its natural home…