SARABURI — After catching a python who strangled an elderly woman’s cat on Friday morning, an animal control official carried the reptile to the police station – to the grief of Capt. Pattarapol Pintong, the only officer manning the station.
Playing it safe with wildlife law, Somkiat Khunsaen lugged the 4.5 meter reticulated python into Saraburi City Provincial Police Station because of its protected animal status
“I’m so scared of snakes. I hate them so much, personally,” Pattarapol said, letting out a high-pitched laugh on the phone Friday. “But he pulled the whole thing out of the sack. He wanted me to see how long it was.”
Earlier in the morning, Somkiat, 49, answered a distress call from Kanya Fongjamon, 80, who reported that a python had killed her cat. Venturing into the garden of Kanya’s home, Somkiat found a white-and-brown cat strangled under a mango tree. Meanwhile, a four-meter long python hung from the branches, hissing
Pattarapol explained that animal control usually releases snakes and other wild animals back into the wild.
“It was the first time someone brought an animal here. Actually, it’s the correct procedure, so we can note down that a protected animal was caught and properly released,” the captain said.
The Python reticularis is a protected species under the Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act of 1992.
Pattarapol recalled another snake-related shindig on June 12 in the same province’s Ban Mo district, when police apprehended an animal control official riding a motorcycle while in possession of a sack full of snakes. The animal official said he was returning caught snakes to the wild.
Police did not arrest the man, but seized his snakes, which included some protected species, under suspicion that they would be sold. Still, the internet has gone wild with accusations that the police harassed a man who only wanted to help animals.
In wooded areas around Thailand, snake invasions are a common occurrence, peeking out of toilets and snacking on pets. in 2016, a python slithered out of a squat toilet to bite a Chachoengsao man on the penis.