Snakes of Cambodia

Venemous snakes of Cambodia

Sightings of this elusive Elapid are rare. Though it is highly venomous it does not have an aggressive temperament by day. At nights it is more active and potentially more dangerous.

The species occurs in a variety of habitats including forests, agricultural and coastal areas. It is often encountered close to water bodies.  It feeds on other vertebrates including rodents, lizards and other snakes.

The Banded Krait is easily identified by the alternating black and yellow bands, which are of equal thickness and extend onto the ventral surface. The body is triangular in cross-section.

Snakes of Cambodia

  • Snakes: I have personally seen three different kinds of poisonous snakes. The variety you’re most likely to see is commonly known as a Green Tree Pit Viper, which is a rather generic name that covers a number of species of pit viper that are green, live in trees, and are usually between half a meter and one meter in length. Their bite is serious but rarely fatal. These snakes spend most of their time in trees and having seen quite a few in Cambodia, my general impression of these snakes is that if left alone they will not bother you. However, if you do annoy one, they tend to go for the neck and head area when they bite and while not considered a lethal snake, the implications of a poisonous bite to the face are not pleasant. Although I have not seen them, Cambodia does have some other, more formidable vipers lurking about.

    Pythons are around. I saw one near the Tonle Sap a number of years ago, it was fairly small at about three meters in length. Given the desirability of catching these snakes, it’s highly unlikely a python would have the luxury of living long enough to grow to a size large enough to be particularly dangerous to humans.

  • Cobras are common as well, though you’re much more likely to see the smaller Asiatic Cobra then the king of all venomous snakes, the King Cobra, which is technically an entirely different species of snake. The Asiatic is, like the Green Tree Pit Viper, a generic name that covers a number of different subspecies – all of which can kill you and some of which are in Cambodia. Unlike the Green Tree Pit Vipers, cobras are both significantly more agressive and deadly. A solid bite from a cobra, if not treated promptly with the correct anti-venom, can have fatal consequences. And cobras do live in the Angkor environs. I saw one in Preah Khan in 2001 and I have friends who saw one on a road near the West Gate to Angkor Thom

Cambodia’s snake slaughter – Magazine / Geographical

At least four million water snakes are caught from Tonle Sap Lake every year – the heaviest exploitation of any snake community in the world.

A tranquil dawn has settled across the lake; very welcome after the cacophony I endured last night. How foolish of me to assume (or was it hope) that the Khmer passion for karaoke hadn’t spread to this idyllic world of submerged forests and grasslands, where exquisite water birds fly overhead, houses float on the water and schools of fish swim beneath.

The silence is disrupted by the gentle splash of Leum Leum’s paddle as he steers us the short distance to his gill net. I’m still as a stone behind him, eyeing the water inches below my crossed knees and imagining all manner of soggy ends to my camera. We move swiftly along the net as Leum Leum searches for snakes, efficiently ripping out any entangled bodies and giving some a sharp whack on the head. Soon, a small mound of bloody, writhing snakes has grown at my feet. This gruesome scene seems out of place, set against the still of the lake  and the delicate yellow-flowered snao bushes surrounding us. But, as I was to learn, this was a sharp lesson in the reality of life for many of those who live on and around Tonle Sap Lake in western Cambodia.

Venemous snakes of Cambodia

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