Park enthusiasts in Bangkok seeking relief from renewed coronavirus restrictions had a slippery surprise Thursday when a python as long as two of the ubiquitous motorcycles in the Thai capital was spotted in a tree.
The reticulated python was only the last large snake to appear in densely populated central Bangkok, where urban sprawl eating away at natural habitats has been blamed for an increase in snake sightings in recent years.
This one was found in Benjasiri Park, which is flanked by towering hotels, apartment buildings and several upscale shopping malls that are largely off-limits due to new restrictions put in place this week for stem an increase in virus cases.
As joggers rounded a nearby running trail, firefighters were called in to help park staff capture the snake.
The python planned its escape, heading for a building on the edge of the park that houses the World Fellowship of Buddhists. But the firefighters were waiting for him.
One used a stick to grab the python by the neck, and another tried to cut off the branch it was on. They soon coaxed him into a bag and took him away.
Firefighter Somchai Yoosabai said the snake was 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) long and weighed around 35 kilograms (77 pounds).
He said his department alone caught one or two snakes a day during the current rainy season, mostly in residential neighborhoods or homes with pets.