While living here in Thailand, I’ve come across quite a few animals in the zoos—but those animals aren’t really ‘wild’.
I’ve shared plenty about my experiences with ‘tamed’ wild animals here in Thailand (elephants, cobras, pythons, tigers), so I think it’s time that I write a little about the animals I’ve found outside the zoos and shows.
First up, there’s the Kutri snake—the Striped Kutri snake (Oligodon taeniatus), to be exact. I’ve seen three of this species so far.
I was calmly (or perhaps fervently) working on a story when my little siblings ran to get me after finding a Kutri sliding up the outside stairs located at the back of our house.
A long time ago, I learned that younger siblings are wonderful eyes and ears. They found both the snakes mentioned in this post and also called me when they found the Xylocopa latipes, which led to a little adventure when I tried to relocate the downed bee. Read about that here.
I raced outside. “Where is it?”
“Up there. On the stairs.”
I moved on carefully. I didn’t know where it was or what kind of snake it was, so caution was warranted.
I stole up the first two stairs, scanning the sun-warmed steps for snakes. There! A tail disappearing over the top of the stair.
After charging up the stairs, I found the snake slithering along the balcony.
Thanks to my last encounter with one of the same species, I was able to recognize the small snake as a Kutri. They aren’t poisonous.
And I wanted to hold it.
The slender snake cocked back and snapped at me before I could even get close.
I didn’t want to hold it anymore.
Crouching, I drew my dagger and flipped it over to jab the hilt at the little snake. Over and over with its little white mouth, the snake struck at the metal. Whoa.
Anyway, it went off the balcony the easy way—off the edge, hitting the ground with an absurdly loud splat and slithered off into the brush below, never to be seen again.
I can’t wait to find another kutri and wrangle it. I’ll let you know when I do.
The next creature I’m highlighting today is this nasty little caterpillar.
I was brushing by the bushes on my way into the house and I felt a sharp pain on my left wrist. It felt like being stabbed by two needles and then having them slowly being pulled out for the next five minutes (Did you know a man named Schmitt went around the world rating the pain intensity of insect stings and bites?)
Grabbing my wrist, I examined the undersides of all the leaves until I spotted the monstrous source of my pain—a stinging caterpillar. Although it can be a pain to touch, this caterpillar is fearfully and wonderfully made: It’s rather beautiful with the blue highlights, the Oz-green backdrop, and the symmetry of the spines.
My final entry for today… black scorpions.
Big. Black. Pinching. What’s not to love about these giant arachnids?
So, these scorpions can sting, but they won’t necessarily unless mishandled.
They have them at the insect zoos here in Thailand, but they’ve been ‘tamed’ and are used to handling. So, there was some risk involved when I took this thing into my hand, but scorpion stings are only about as painful as bee stings and not lethal unless allergically reacted to—so I wasn’t really risking much. But I wasn’t stung and really enjoyed getting to know this creature better.
Psalm 92 says that it is good to give thanks to God. “For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.” (v.4) What are some of the creatures you can see and praise God for today?
“It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;” (v.1)
May the Lord bless you and keep you.