Ontario Agriculture

The network for agriculture in Ontario, Canada

Temples and Snakes and Boats...Oh My!

Battling through the chaos and heat of Bangkok, Class 16 spent a full day experiencing some of the interesting sites in the city.

Our first stop of the morning was at the Red Cross Snake Farm, nestled on a 'quieter' side street right in Bangkok. The Snake Farm is a part of the Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute and the Thai Red Cross Society. In the early 1900s, one of the King’s daughters died of rabies. At that time, there were facilities around the world that had made significant progress in the research and treatment of rabies, and development of rabies vaccine. The King decided to establish such a facility in Thailand as well and donated a residence for this project. Since Thailand is also home to more than 190 varieties of snakes, 61 which are venomous, it was decided that Thailand should also have a facility dedicated to the production of antivenom using the venom of snakes native to the region. The Snake Farm portion of the facility was opened in 1923, and is only the second Snake farm in the world.

We had an opportunity to walk through the indoor and outdoor serpentariums to check out the various snakes that reside at the farm. Everything from venoms King Cobras, Kraits and Vipers, to the more docile Pythons and Boas were on display for us to see. We also had the opportunity to see where they collect the venom, check out an informative exhibition that explained the life cycle of snakes, how they shed their skin, how and when they reproduce, and of course, how you should treat a snake bite! Did you know that not all snakes lay eggs? And, if you are bitten, did you know that you wrap the wound tightly, splint it, and wrap it again to keep the limb immobile and the venom from spreading? Oh, and stay calm...it may seem impossible given you have just been bitten by a potentially deadly serpent, but the slower you can keep your heart rate, the slower your blood (and the venom) will circulate.

To round out our visit to this unusual 'farm,' we had the opportunity to watch a snake-handling demonstration. This was simultaneously thrilling and terrifying for many in the group. The handlers were not handling the 'friendly' Boas and Pythons, but rather the very angry and aggressive Cobras and other venomous snakes. There were many shrieks from the audience (read: the girls of AALP Class 16) as the snakes lunged angrily at the handlers who were seemingly unphased by the fact that they were a bite away from needing the antivenom!

Those who were brave enough could also take a turn holding the huge albino Burmese Python for a photo opp.

The Snake farm, while not a traditional farm in the agricultural sense was a great example of recognizing a need, and putting the resources in place to ensure that humans and snakes can coexist with fewer casualties.

After the snake farm and a delicious lunch, we set out to tour the Grand Palace and the Emerald Temple. This area of the city is always quite busy, however, Thailand’s beloved King Rama IX passed away in the fall. As a result, the country is currently in a period of mourning, as millions of Thai people make the trek to the Palace to see the King who lays in state for up to a year. We battled the crowds and the extreme heat to see the stunning Temple and Palace. The architecture is absolutely spectacular! It was also incredibly interesting to see so many people there to pay their respects, old, young, and everything between. King Rama IX was a King of the people and the sadness of the Thai people over the loss of their King can be seen and felt, not only near the palace, but through the entire city and country.

After finishing at the palace, the group took a river tour of the city’s canals, while learning more about the city and the canal system. We also learned that catfish are smart...many of the temples are built along the canals. While in the area of the temples, you are not allowed to hurt or kill an animal. This includes fishing in the water near the temples. The fish have learned that they are safe in these sacred areas of the rivers, so that's where they live. Chunks of bread will bring hundreds and hundreds of them to the surface for a snack in those areas, while there are no signs of life in other areas of the same river or canal!

After a breather in the mall for some ice cream, we rounded out the full day with a dinner cruise. We enjoyed a delicious international buffet, the sights of Bangkok in lights and some fantastic music and dancing.

It was a very long, very sweaty day for the group, but we all enjoyed getting to know more about the Thai people and their customs and culture! And, while there may be a few nightmares about snakes tonight, we also appreciated learning about living alongside venomous snakes - something we don't really have to worry about in Canada!

Views: 85

Comment

You need to be a member of Ontario Agriculture to add comments!

Join Ontario Agriculture

Agriculture Headlines from Farms.com Canada East News - click on title for full story

Monitoring Canola for Cabbage Seedpod Weevil and Tarnished Plant Bug

Cabbage seedpod weevil (CSW) are being found in spring canola, particularly in earlier planted fields that are beginning to flower. CSW may begin to appear just prior to bolting and can primarily be found on flower buds until pods begin to form.

Ontario Field Crop Report, June 21, 2018: Sulphur response in Ontario’s field crops

Sulphur (S) had been a neglected nutrient in Ontario for many years. For decades, in much of Ontario, sulphur came in significant quantities from the sky – deposited from emissions from industrial activity. Even before that, impurities in fertilizers and more widespread application of manure helped ensure a regular addition of sulphur to our soils.

Simcoe Agribusiness Breakfast Meeting Minutes – June 20, 2018

High winds, hail and pounding rain in some of the area over the past week has added frustration to an already difficult spring seeding season. A category F2 tornado with maximum wind speeds of 180 km/hr along with significant hail cut a path about 30 km and up to ½ km wide from the Norwich to Fisherville area. Thunderstorms (and hail) Wednesday June 13 and Monday June 18 brought “the million dollar rain” for many producers with anywhere from 0 to 90 mm of precipitation. Pounding rains caused significant soil erosion and crusting in some newly planted fields. Soil health and infiltration capacity differences between neighbouring fields was evident in surface runoff. Conditions remain dry in much of the region and additional “gentle” rainfalls would be welcomed.

Ridgetown Agribusiness Breakfast Meeting – June 19, 2018

This is the final meeting for spring 2018. A fall meeting was discussed: stay tuned. Most areas in Southwestern Ontario received some rain yesterday (Monday). Amounts varied widely, 2-80 mm, most areas receiving 10-20 mm. For most growers it was a critical boost, although not really enough. Parts of Niagara are the exception, and they got hammered again.

The 3rd Annual Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in Oxford County

The 3rd Annual Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in Oxford County was held on June 12, at AJ Baker Public School in Kintore. Progressive Agriculture Safety Days (PAF), founded in 1995, are held annually across North America, coordinated by local communities looking to bring attention to agricultural safety among rural youth.

© 2018   Created by Darren Marsland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service