Thailand Journal 2016-2017 by Josh

Journal publication date: 
January 9, 2017
Winter 2017

Today was the second day of setting out camera traps with the technicians. Ben and I went on a short yet difficult hike. The trek was only about 2.5 kilometers long but almost all the way uphill. I would have preferred a longer trek but Ben, my partner, had a sore knee. We saw some cool scenery due to the elevation increase so I won’t complain. The group that hiked 17 kilometers saw and heard elephants, and even had to run quietly down the trail to get out of the area. I think attitudes and temperament of the larger group were better than expected considering the couple of long days in the field. Before dinner someone found a giant centipede underneath a tire with a pole cemented in the middle (a light pole contraption). The thing was gigantic and intimidating; it was about the size of my foot! I examined its thick red segments and yellow legs as it sat motionless with its head half buried in dirt. Apparently a bite from one of these bad boys can seriously ruin your day, so everyone was cautious around it. After a bit of maneuvering, a couple of the technicians managed to get the centipede in a plastic jug where I heard they’ll send it to a museum. After the centipede, sometime after dark, a group of students walking down to the river overlook almost stepped on a giant Reticulated Python. The huge snake was stretched across the path, half of its body on the trail, and the other seven or so feet underneath the porch of a building. We were told that one of the guys renovating the buildings on camp caught it from a nearby village and released it here because it was eating too many chickens. The python retreated back under the porch and curled up in the far corner, allowing us to get great looks at it. Pretty successful day with animals I would say.