Mr Pongchart told the press yesterday that every wild animal in Phuket can be considered to be in one of two groups: those living in protected natural reserves, and those that have found they way into unprotected wilds.
“Nowadays, there are many animals getting lost in areas of Phuket. Some of them are also injured. If we find injured animals like lorises or monkeys, we always take them to receive medical treatment by veterinarians. After that, we release them to the place where we found them,” Mr Pongchart said.
“After receiving medical treatment, the released animals do not have problems finding food by themselves, as they grew up in the forest and know how to survive, unlike animals that have been raised as pets” he explained.
However, snakes caught in Phuket receive special treatment. They are handed over to a wildlife reserve in Phang Nga.
“I admit that a lot of snakes have intruded into and disturbed local homes,” Mr Pongchart said.
“We have found a lot of snakes in homes recently because it is their mating season. Additionally, it is dry and we are entering the hot season, they need water to drink,” he explained.
“As you can see, a couple of king cobras were caught in Baan Pakrong Cheep [in Pa khlok]. We will take them to Phang Nga tomorrow [today, Feb 12],” Mr Pongchart added.
“We have now partnered with the Phang Nga Wildlife Nursery Station and the Klong Saeng Wildlife Research Station in Surat Thani in order to manage and solve the problem with snakes together,” he said.
The Khao Phra Thaew Natural and Wildlife Education Centre in Thalang has been dispatching caught snakes off-island for some time, Mr Pongchart noted.
“From July to September last year, we found 109 pythons and took them all to the Phang Nga Wildlife Nursery Station because of their aggressiveness,” Mr Pongchart explained.
“We also take cobras and king cobras to Phang Nga, as the nursery station is mainly responsible for taking care of lost animals,” he added.
“Our good partner on the island is the Kusoldharm Phuket Foundation. Their rescue workers are ready to catch snakes anywhere and anytime,” Mr Pongchart noted.
“So, my sisters and brothers [sic] can be confident that all kinds of snakes caught in Phuket are to be taken off the island,” he confirmed.
“Most importantly, to every person, please keep both inside and outside of your places clean because it is a simple way to make your place safe from snakes,” he concluded.