Green mambas, crocs, & the risk of infection lurked
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2011:
BANGKOK–-The floodwater rising over Thailand was one problem,
and what was in it was–and remains– another. Along with the threat
of zoonotic disease and insect plagues that accompanies most floods,
Bangkok rescuers found themselves handling more than 200 animals of
protected species, “ranging from deer and tigers to monkeys,”
reported Apinya Wipatayotint of the Bangkok Post, amid rumors that
“deadly green mamba snakes got loose in Nonthaburi after escaping
from a flooded house in Pak Kret.”
In addition, between 100 and “thousands” of crocodiles
reportedly escaped from swamped crocodile leather farms.
Film maker Tim Gorski, in Thailand representing Kinship
Circle, was reminded of his experience during the aftermath of the
December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. “After being swept out of
my bungalow, I was stranded on Phi Phi Island with 2,500 dead and
ended up doing rescue and then recovery for four months,” Gorski
told ANIMAL PEOPLE.
Circa November 7, 2011, Gorski related, he and Darrick
Thomson, husband of Save Elephant Foundation founder Sangduen “Lek”
Chailert, “were in Lum Luk Ka, north of Bangkok, removing 39 dogs
from a woman’s house, flooded three weeks already. It was getting
dark and the nasty black sewage was deep.
“I was hoisting a dog over my head into the boat,” Gorski
said, “when he bit me right on the nose and mouth, sending me
tumbling into the water. I wrapped my face in a dirty rag and
Darrick and I spent the next 30 minutes or so trying to get as many
dogs on the boats as possible and get back to the truck before
darkness. It took an hour and a half to get the boats to the truck,
then another 45 minutes to load the boats and animals on the truck.
Then another hour and 40 minutes through the flood to the highway,
where I had to hitch a one-hour ride to the hospital,” to receive 25
“Miraculously,” Gorski said, “the wound did not become infected.”