Thailand’s Wild Animals: Dangerous and Not
Poisonous snakes, big spiders, horrible scorpions, predatory tigers and crocodiles live in Thai jungles and zoos. Is it possible to meet dangerous animals in resorts in Thailand? We tell you who you should not be afraid of, and who can ruin your vacation.
Search for Last Minute Deals at Level.Travel and Travellata to find the best deals from a variety of tour operators. Want to save money? Explore:
Varanas are plentiful in Thailand. They live in gardens, parks, lakes, riverbanks, urban canals – khlongs and storm drains.
The terrifying lizards range in size from small creatures of 30-40 cm to two-meter giants. I was horrified the first time I saw a one-meter-long varan a few feet away from me. The animal was walking imposingly across the street, ignoring motorcycles, cars, and dogs standing nearby.
Varanas are not dangerous to humans. More accurately, conditionally dangerous. Their body has areas with weak venom, but Thai monsters are afraid of humans and always try to escape first. Varan may strike a frightening pose to scare you, but it will never attack.
Varanas feed on carrion and catch fish. They are generously fed by Thai dippers, who give the animals their cleanings and unsold food. In Bangkok, we saw the owner of a sidewalk restaurant throw fish giblets into the canal, and the lured monitor lobster happily gobbled up the offering.
If you want to photograph and watch them, go to Bangkok’s Lumpini Park. There are these animals in other city parks, but Lumpini is the real kingdom of the varan!
A bogeyman goes about his business.
There are more than 50 species of dangerous snakes in Thailand. Is it scary to go to such a country? We think not! In resorts encounter with snakes is negligible, because this is not the jungle.
In several years of living in Thailand, we have only seen a few snakes crushed by cars on the side of the road. Once on the fence at a neighbor’s house we noticed a nimble green snake 30 cm long. The owner came and reassured us that it was a non-poisonous snake.
Once we approached a group of Thais who were watching a woman beating her cat away from a boa constrictor. The Thai woman was confidently beating the snake with a stick and didn’t even ask for help. The cat was saved!
How do locals deal with snakes when they spot them under the hood of a car or in the bathroom? They call emergency services. Experienced cat catchers arrive. A few deft moves and the snake ends up in a big bag. Buddhists never kill it, but take it to a nearby forest and release it into the wild.
Poisonous Malayan bush snake, Pattaya. The bite can be fatal for humans (Photo: Captain Kimo / flickr.com)
In Thailand, large reptiles can only be found at special farms and zoos. Very few crocodiles live in the wild, in the country’s national parks, but they are on the verge of extinction.
Sometimes during a flood, 1-2 crocodiles manage to sneak away from the farms. Such incidents are so rare that they are immediately reported in the Thai media. The toothy monster is caught by the world and returned, not because it is dangerous to people, but out of pity for the animal itself. It is difficult for a crocodile to survive in today’s world!
It’s the same story with tigers. All the big cats in Thailand have long lived only in captivity. Want to see crocodiles, tigers and other big predators? Plan an excursion to the farm or zoo!
Crocodile farm in Bangkok (Photo: unsplash.com / @yossanunj)
Geckos, tukkes, and calots.
People are innately afraid of lizards, but small lizards are not dangerous animals in Thailand. Not only will they do you no harm, they will even make your vacation more enjoyable. Small geckos – chinchoks – live in any Thai home and save its inhabitants from mosquitoes, flies and cockroaches.
Larger geckos – tukke – are also typical residents of Thai homes. They got their name because of their bright spots and characteristic cry, because tukke means “scarecrow” in Thai. There is an omen among the locals. If a tukke screams when you go out of the house, there will be no luck. If you hear the sound of the lizard at home, all will turn out well!
Bloodsucking calots can be seen on fences, in parks and gardens. They love to bask in the sun. Despite the intimidating name, tourists are not afraid of calots. The lizards with long tails feed exclusively on flies.
In Thailand, monkeys live in captivity and in the wild. Vacationers are specially taken to places where they can feed the monkeys. Some tourists meeting with crab macaques gives a lot of pleasant emotions, while others are very upset. The thing is that the monkeys are not tame animals. They behave as their instincts tell them to.
Macaques are relatively dangerous animals in Thailand. Do not provoke the monkeys to aggressive behavior! Large males are used to cheekily begging for food. If teased, male macaques can bite your hand. Young monkeys are curious and active. They are always ready to snatch your sunglasses, cap, camera or phone.
Keep an eye on your belongings! Feed the monkeys so that no packs form around them. When the monkeys gather more than 3-4, just step aside. Let us tell you a secret – Thai macaques are very fond of peanuts. They are even willing to obey the rules of decency for the sake of this delicacy!
There are no malaria-carrying mosquitoes in Thailand, but some infect people with Dengue fever. Unpleasant disease can thoroughly ruin your vacation and even lead to serious complications. There is a sad statistic – from the hemorrhagic form of Dengue die 50% of those who fall ill.
Mosquitoes in Thailand are more in the rainy season. Stay in a hotel with mosquito nets on the windows. Use fumigators and repellents. Sprays and spirals are sold at 7-eleven stores. BigC and Tesco supermarkets have a large selection of insect repellent.
Mosquitoes (Photo: pxfuel.com)
One of the most venomous on the planet is the Mediterranean hermit spider, a spider that sees perfectly in the dark. Generally they are mainly found in the eastern United States, but in Thailand a colony of these dangerous spiders has also been discovered – in the Sai Yok cave in Kanchanaburi. So you are unlikely to meet them at a resort!
There is also the dangerous Black Widow spider, but we have not met it. It is black, with red markings on its abdomen, usually shaped like an hourglass. So his bite can kill a person if not addressed in time to the doctor, who will administer an antidote.
In resorts and residences of Thais are found small spiders and large crab spiders – Heteropoda venatoria. Both of them are harmless. When you see a spider – do not be afraid. He is not hunting for you, but for mosquitoes and flies!
Harmless Crab Spider
Thai scorpions are not as poisonous as those in Africa. Their bites are painful, but can only lead to a severe allergic reaction. The rule is simple: never touch a scorpion!
If you want to tickle your nerves, go to the Tiger Zoo in Sriracha. A woman who is covered head to toe with scorpions performs there. A spectacular attraction for the impressionable tourists!
Khao Yai National Park (Photo: cnener / flickr.com)
Ironically, Thailand’s most dangerous animals live in the water. Jellyfish swim in the sea and sting everything in their path. It is difficult to distinguish between dangerous and harmless jellyfish by sight, so you need to be careful.
If the water is sunlit and there is not a cloud in the sky, there are no jellyfish near the shore. Jellyfish do not tolerate bright sunlight. At this time, they stay deep or away from the shore.
Any invasion of jellyfish in shallow water occurs after a big storm, when the water is opaque. In addition, the jelly-like creatures love cloudy and rainy weather.
What to do if stung by a jellyfish? Get out of the water and ask for help from Thais. Those who work on the beach know what to do.
Unfortunately, Thailand has dangerous jellyfish that can kill you if touched. These are cubomedusa. They are found in the waters near Phuket. In the resorts of the Gulf of Thailand, such trouble is very rare.
In September 2016, four beaches on the island of Phuket, Thailand, were closed because of the infestation of the Portuguese shipwreck.
Among the dangerous animals of Thailand is the zebra winged fish, which lives in coral reefs near tropical islands. This fish is striped and has long fins with spines. If you accidentally touch it, you can get a painful injection. The venom is not fatal, but the wounded arm or leg will hurt for a very long time.
If you hurt your face with thorns, you may be paralyzed from respiratory muscles. Be careful when diving or snorkeling!
The zebra-winged shark in shallow water (Photo: Andreas März / flickr.com)
It is commonly believed that there are no sharks in the Gulf of Thailand and that the predators are only found in the Andaman Sea. In fact, there are sharks in Thailand, but not as big and not in such numbers as in the Red Sea. In the Gulf of Thailand, from time to time you can find gray, leopard, reef, black and tiger sharks.
Have there been any human attacks in Thailand? In the last century and this century, no. What happened before is not known for sure. Those who are going to dive, it is worth asking about the rules of conduct when meeting with a shark from professional divers.
The aquarium at Siam Paragon, Bangkok (Photo: Captain Kimo / flickr.com)
They exist in Thailand, but we’ve never seen them before. The bite is poisonous but not fatal. The main thing is not to touch them.
A scorpionfish in the house (Photo: Tim Gerland / flickr.com)
Thailand’s 7 Most Dangerous Animals
Don’t go for a walk in the Thai jungle, kids! There are scorpions in the jungle, spiders in the jungle and big, bad scolopendras in the jungle… Talking about Thailand’s fauna this way, we don’t sugarcoat it, but we paint over it. In fact, you need to try hard to find most of these “mi-mischievous” creatures. But you can meet some without making a date!
It’s one thing to suffer the moral damage of what you see, but it’s another thing to suffer the physical damage of a close encounter. In Thailand, you don’t run into dangerous and poisonous animals at every turn. Some can even be friends from a distance, some you should be wary of, but others are deadly. We remembered a few exotic creatures that inhabit Thailand, and tried to assess the danger they pose, on a scale of 10 points.
Jellyfish. Danger level: 5 points
At the end of August, there was news that in Pattaya there are jellyfish, which can seriously injure and even kill people. The area at risk are young children, the elderly, people with heart disease, allergies, asthmatics, people with diseases of the nervous system. But most often jellyfish victims are helped by first aid or procedures in the hospital. Do you like to swim in the rain? Then remember: jellyfish avoid the sun (which dries them out) and appear in bad weather, especially after a storm. So swimming in good sunny weather will keep you safe from encountering them.
“Who’s going swimming in the sea at night with me?” Photo: Shutterstock 2
Pied Piper. Danger level: 7 points.
First of all, it really hurts. Shall we continue? Okay: The winged fish attracts tourists’ attention with its bright coloring and ray-shaped spines. If its marine neighbors understand that the brightly colored can not be touched, then the tourist climbs for a photo gun or burrows to stroke the “cutie.” “Rays” the fish has many – soft and hard. Soft ones are safe, but the hard ones are almost fatal for humans! Can not determine by eye. If you accidentally touch them for a moment, there will be swelling and the wound will ache for the entire vacation and even longer. But if you squeeze it and take selfies, the matter may end up with paralysis of skeletal and respiratory muscles! Pied Piper likes to sit in corals, where she is perfectly camouflaged. On the hunt it goes out at dusk. Draw your own conclusions.
Winged fish wish you good diving near corals . Photo: Shutterstock
Scorpionfish. Danger level: 6 points
How? 6 points? But there’s no such thing as a scorpion. We think you’ve heard about African scorpions. Fortunately, in Thailand, scorpions are not as fearsome as they are in Africa. You will be killed instantly there, but a Thai scorpion can give you a dangerous allergy. At best, the bite site will itch a lot. But no one can guarantee that the scorpion you meet is safe. One of the signs by which you can tell a poisonous one is the size of the claws and stinger. Poisonous ones have a noticeable sting compared to the relatively small claws. And the safest scorpion is the one fried in olive oil! An old Thai legend says that scorpions are attracted to the smell of beer. Well, you get the idea. Conclusion: whatever scorpion stings you, run to the doctor.
This scorpie wants to have a beer with you on the beach. Photo: Shutterstock 4
Mosquitoes. Danger level: 7.
The most dangerous are the ones that carry Dengue fever. Joint pain, rashes, and fever are all signs of an ailment that a small insect can “give” you. The disease is curable and lasts a maximum of 14 days. The main thing is to seek medical help in time. The black-and-white mosquito likes the same things as the less dressy congeners: shade and dampness. It’s a good thing they don’t like resort visitors!
The little bloodsucker invites you to relax in the shade. Photo: Shutterstock 5
Caterpillars. Danger level: 5.
The Thais call them “baang haang. They are repulsive-looking, bad-tempered and fussy. They can crawl on you, on your clothes, in your tent if you dare to sleep in the jungle… You are guaranteed to survive after the bite, but the place will itch for a week, you will get big transparent blisters, which will burst later… Let’s not distract you from the imaginary picture! Just one thing to add: the caterpillars are so bad that street vendors don’t even sell them as a snack.
Baang haang awaits you in a beautiful rainforest. Photo: Shutterstock 6
Spiders. Danger level: 6 points.
There are many of them in Thailand, but not all attack humans and even those that do are not always dangerous. There are about 2,000 human spider bites per year in the Kingdom (of course, all of these are reported and more or less tangible injuries). But that’s not much in terms of population and number of tourists. And the fatal encounter happens once in a thousand incidents. However, the most venomous spiders in the world – the Mediterranean hermits – were found exactly in Thailand: in Sai Yok cave. With these guys in case of procrastination the lethal outcome is guaranteed! Neighborhood of spiders cannot be avoided. Just don’t touch them!
“Shall we take a tour of the cave?” Photo: Shutterstock
Snake. Danger level: 10 points
56 of the 175 species of Thai snakes are armed with deadly venom. These are the most dangerous inhabitants of the country! If a snake spots you, it will try to crawl away as quickly as possible. But if you catch up with it and step on it, it will bite you and you will have to crawl away. Perhaps even the hospital. If you get there…It’s a little comforting to know that the snake problem in Thailand is a long-standing one, and medics have found antidotes for most of the poisons.
“I’ll kiss you. Later. If you want to.” Photo: Shutterstock