Thai snake catcher evicted for keeping rustled reptiles at home

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Bam Similan said that he never charges people for catching snakes, unless they want to help.

Catching a giant snake is easier than finding a place to set it free again, a Phangnga reptile rustler says.

Thanpol Butmee, who plies his trade in the southern province of Tai Muang, said he was recently kicked out of his rented home in Lumkan because he was keeping snakes he caught with his bare hands at home until he could find a place to release them.

Thanpol, who goes by the moniker “Bam Similan”, drives around the region on a motorbike with tools and a fabric bag, catching pythons and cobras that slither into homes and businesses.


Thanpol insists the slithery creatures are misunderstood and people should not be so afraid of the reptiles, especially when they are kept safely in cages as he did at his home before he was evicted.

On March 1, Bam Similan said his most recently released two cobras, five and four meters long respectively, in a hilly area in Kapong District.

The Chiang Mai native used to work as a tour boat guide, mechanic and captain and was afraid of snakes. But he overcame his fear by volunteering to help people faced with unwanted snakes.



Thanpol insists the slithery creatures are misunderstood and people should not be so afraid of the reptiles, especially when they are kept safely in cages as he did at his home before he was evicted.

The rustler said he even offers lessons to people interested in catching snakes.

Giant snake handler Thanpol “Bam Similan” Butmee says catching a snake is easier than finding a place to set it free again.



The Phangnga reptile rustler most recently released two cobras, five and four meters long respectively, in a hilly area in Kapong District.