Poisonous Mambas Make a Break for Freedom in Flooded Nothanburi: When Animal Smuggling Goes Very, Very Wrong

by Admin on November 3, 2011

If floods, water-born disease, and the prospect of losing all of their worldly goods wasn’t enough for them, the beleaguered residents ofBangkoknow must contend with a new foe: according to a anonymous Twitter posting, 15 highly poisonous green mamba snakes have allegedly escaped from a flooded Nothanburi residence. The mambas, which are native to Africa, were likely being kept in the home as part of an animal smuggling scheme (though why anyone would want to purchase a highly poisonous snake is beyond us).

 Thailand, as we’ve discussed before, is not only a source country for the creatures involved in endangered animal smuggling schemes, but also a hub for animals brought into the country from Laos, Burma, Cambodia, and now (it seems) the continent of Africa

 Green Mambas are among the most poisonous snakes in the world – a human bitten by one of these serpents has between 20 minutes and a couple of hours to seek treatment before succumbing to death. Unfortunately, Thai hospitals are completely lacking in stores of mamba antivenom, as the animals are not native to Thailand. Law enforcement offices are searching for the snakes without the help of the serpents’ owner, as stepping forward and admitting to possession of the snakes would result in being prosecuted for animal trafficking.

 While it’s true that Bangkok residents have, in reality, a very small chance of encountering the snakes, or receiving deadly bites, we think this incident has highlighted the safety implications of Thailand’s illegal wildlife trade. Furthermore, what if the poisonous serpents aren’t caught, and proliferate as an invasive species in Thailand, just as Burmese pythons have overtaken the Florida everglades? Wildlife traffickers not only violate the rights of the animals they traffic, but they also place their fellow countrymen and fragile ecosystems at risk.

(Image courtesy of Mathias L, via Creative Commons)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Michael January 7, 2012 at 12:19

There is no doubt that snakes are among one the top survivors in the world along with the mighty Crocodiles and this is certainly a proof of this fact but I hope that these dangerous and lethal mambas stay away from the people.

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