People walking along a park in Bangkok had a surprise Friday after a nearly 12-foot python was seen crawling through one of the city's most popular green spaces. The reticulated python was one of the largest snakes to be spotted in the densely popular center of the capital city.
The snake was discovered in Bangkok's Benjasiri Park, which is flanked by two large hotels, apartment buildings and several shopping malls. Fortunately, there weren't a lot of people in the area due to recently imposed restrictions stemming from a surge in new coronavirus cases.
Joggers and people walking along the park were quick to spot the large reptile. Firefighters were immediately called to the scene. One firefighter attempted to capture the snake with a folding ladder. The snake attempted to escape and headed toward a building on the edge of the park, which houses the World Fellowship of Buddhists.
While it made its way onto the roof of the building by climbing a tree, three firefighters worked together to force it into a sack. One firefighter used a stick to force the animal to change direction, while another tried to cut the branch it was on.
In pictures: A 3.5-metre-long python that made its way to Bangkok's Benjasiri Park captured by firefighters, recent increase in snake sightings being blamed on urban sprawl encroaching into natural habitats pic.twitter.com/nTOAugcedb — TRT World (@trtworld) July 15, 2021
Somchai Yoosabai, one of the firefighters that caught the snake, said it had measures approximately 11.5 feet long and weighed around 77 pounds. Yoosabai said they typically get thousands of snake-related calls every year. He said they mostly get the calls during the rainy season and from areas with a lot of pets.
Yoosabai said they are now more worried about getting infected by the coronavirus rather than getting bitten by snakes.
"If any houses...have COVID-19 cases, we have to go to catch the snakes anyway. Plus, wherever we go to catch a snake, the crowd is always there. We cannot avoid that," he said.
Thailand is currently battling another wave of coronavirus infections, fueled mainly by the more contagious delta variant. The nation hit a daily record of 9,692 new infections Friday - taking its total case count to 381,907. Thailand recently reopened its border to vaccinated tourists earlier in the month under a new "sandbox" scheme.