Large Reticulated Python in situ

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Large Reticulated Python in Kaeng Krachan

28 FEB 2015, Kaeng Krachan national park

It's been raining pythons, lately. We even managed to spot 3 large Reticulated Pythons in just 24 hours. While following a dry river bed during our herping trip in Kaeng Krachan national park we came across a 5 metre giant snake that was getting ready to shed its skin. It didn't look great. Life is rough in the wild.

Reticulated Python in Kaeng Krachan, in situ
A 5 metre Reticulated Python in Kaeng Krachan national park found while herping along a dry river bed.

Finding pythons in daytime is not easy, but the month February has been lucky for us in the past. Maybe the rising day temperatures, but still cool night temperatures makes the animals choose for a more visible basking spot? Usually spots near rivers or other waterways are preferred.

The next morning a 4m specimen chose to bask on the road while we were heading out of the park to pick up another guest. We guided it back into the jungle, because we were worried someone would run it over. But upon our return after picking up our guest, we decided to look along the road side to see if we could still find it. Hopefully make our new guest happy. It did not take long before Tan yelled: "SNAKE!".

While we approached the python, rolled up under dry grass, we could not see the head at first. But when we moved away a dry leaf the head became visible and turned out to be brownish in color. It also appeared smaller than 4 metres. The specimen that crossed the road 2 hours earlier had a distinct yellow head.

Suddenly, the animal 'woke up', started hissing and decided to move away and disappear between the roots of a strangler fig. It had lost the tip of the tail, and it only reached about 3 metres. No doubt that this was a different specimen, though within 10 metres from the location where we spotted the 4 metre snake. Amazing!

What a start of the day.

While continuing our drive deeper into Kaeng Krachan national park, we were greeted by a small King Cobra that was finding its way through the dense undergrowth. Maybe not impressive in size, but hey! Its a King Cobra!

Not many people can say they saw 2 pythons and 1 King Cobra in just several hours in the wild.

We finished the day with a small Mock Viper and a common Oriental Vine Snake. Actually, the herping season hasn't really started yet. But if we get these results this early in the year, then our expectations for the wet season will be high. The wet weather will bring out more frogs and more lizards, and consequently more snakes.

Did this trip report get you excited? You are welcome to join us someday on one of our tours in Kaeng Krachan.

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