After Floods, Thailand Now Must Deal With Deadly Snakes and Crocodiles

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AP Photo / Apichart Weerawong

In this photo taken Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011, residents carry a crocodile on their shoulders after they caught and killed the reptile at a flooded residential area in Bangbuatong district of Nonthaburi province, north of Bangkok, Thailand.

It’s bad enough to be flooded out of home and workplace for months. Long-suffering residents in Thailand, who are dealing with the country’s worst floods in half a century, now must contend with crocodiles and highly poisonous snakes in urban environments, the Associated Press reports.

Warnings of menacing creatures lurking beneath the murky flood waters in Bangkok and other cities have spiked recently as the deluge of water begins to recede. The problem is particularly acute in the capital, because it’s long been a center for breeding, exporting and trafficking exotic animals.

Overall, Thailand had an estimated 3,000 crocodile farms when the onslaught of monsoon rains hit lower lying parts of the country in July – and many of the reptiles are thought to have escaped. Meanwhile Bangkok officials are fielding as many as 10 calls per day reporting snakes sighted, including pythons and highly venomous cobras and pit vipers.

(PHOTOS: Flooding in Thailand)

The Thai Fishery Department has been dispatching special teams to deal with the threats. But not all are as serious as first thought. “We get a lot of reports at the Fishery Department, but only about 5 to 10 percent of them turn out to be true,” Praphan Lipayakun, a department official, told the AP.

Anchalee Wannawet, a 23-year-old who works at a construction site next to a reedy swamp in Bangkok’s northern Sai Mai district, encountered a three-foot croc sitting by her workplace lavatory one morning. “I haven’t dared to go the bathroom since,” she told reporters. “I’m peeing in a can.”

And it’s not just crocs and snakes on the loose in the city. Rescuers have reportedly encountered everything from deer and Capuchin monkeys to lions, tigers and bears. Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has proposed spending 130 billion baht ($4.2 billion) on reconstruction to prevent future floods – presumably not a moment too soon for those sharing their neighborhoods with these scary creatures.

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