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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

More on Montior Lizards and Cobras

Zen buddy Fil Lewit in Thailand has sent some excellent advice and info on monitor lizards and cobras. Check it out below and then some links.

I went noodling around in until I found “Saunters,” where all my questions were answered in your long blog, of which I read every word. Fascinating stuff, for a guy, me, now living in Bangkok!

I’ve lived in the tropics for almost 40 years: when living at Railei for 25 years, our back line was the national park jungle’s line, with a small klong running down from the jungle, so we had lots of Clouded Monitor Lizards, ranging from babies a foot long up to full-grown adults of about 5 feet long and chunky and unafraid. They are not afraid of humans when full grown. The pic of the little kid cuddling a big Monitor gave me the willies, and here’s why: although Monitors are not “poisonous" as such, this lizard’s mouth flora and bacteria are completely inimical to human health, and if you piss one off and it does bite you say on the arm, you’ve got a few hours to get to a doc. Your arm will swell up and hurt like Hell, and you will almost immediately get blood poisoning and will either lose the arm to amputation or just die.

Therefore I would like to discourage you from calling Monitors “harmless,” or letting them stay in your home (they like to get into kitchens). It is true that the only Monitor to attack a human without provocation is the Komodo Dragon, but both Clouded Monitors and Water Monitors can be, and often are, deadly to humans because of their weird mouth bacteria.

The second point of issue: Of course cobras, all of them from tiny to huge, should be avoided, but they are not usually dangerous, as they dislike humans and will go the other way. The Indians call cobras “the good snake” as they rarely bother humans but eat great quantities of rats. I’ve seen a number of them, including a 7-footer black spitting cobra, very much alive, in the wild. It ran, or do I say slithered quickly away? The two dangerous ones: 1) the little ones, who can crawl under your pillow and bite you fatally on the neck when your head hits the pillow and disturbs them (this is why we kept our separate bungalow bedroom screened with the door shut all the time; and  2) A King Cobra (10 -15 feet long) in the wilderness wild is territorial, and will attack a human entering its territory with little provocation, though when out of its territory is harmless and will slither on its way. Outside of those two examples one has little to nothing to fear from cobras.

Fil Lewitt book page on Amazon which doesn't yet have his new book, Clockwork Cherries: Haiku to Sonnets with Color Drawings 2011-2012 Paperback

Fil on