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厕所潜伏、街头游泳:蛇类“入侵”曼谷

更新时间:2017-11-29 18:44:33 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Lurking in Toilets, Swimming the Streets: Snakes of Bangkok Move In
厕所潜伏、街头游泳:蛇类“入侵”曼谷

BANGKOK — Panarat Chaiyaboon was using the toilet in her downstairs bathroom in July when she felt a sharp bite on her thigh. She jumped up to see a scene straight out of a nightmare: an 8-foot python emerging from her toilet.

曼谷——今年6月,帕纳拉·查亚布(Panarat Chaiyaboon)坐在自家楼下卫生间的马桶上,突然感觉大腿被咬了一口。她跳了起来,看见了噩梦般的一幕:一条8英尺长(约2.4米)的蟒蛇出现在了她的马桶里。

She rushed to the hospital, bleeding heavily, and still bears the marks from eight tooth punctures that were around half an inch deep.

她流血不止,赶忙去了医院,腿上至今还能见到8个1厘米多深的窟窿留下的印记。

That snake was captured. But a week later, Panarat’s 15-year-old daughter found a second python in the same toilet. The daughter was so shaken, she went to stay with relatives.

蛇被抓住了。但一星期后,帕纳拉15岁的女儿在同一个马桶里发现了第二条蟒蛇。女儿被吓得不轻,搬到了亲戚家住。

It could be argued that snakes have always owned this corner of Thailand, and that the people of Bangkok are merely borrowing it from them. The main airport, Suvarnabhumi, was built in a place called Cobra Swamp, and the city itself took shape on the Chao Phraya River delta — a marshy reptile paradise.

或许可以说,蛇才是泰国这一隅的主人,曼谷人只不过是在借住罢了。曼谷主要机场——素万那普机场(Suvarnabhumi)就建在一个叫“眼镜蛇沼泽”(Cobra Swamp)的地方,而整个曼谷就坐落在湄南河三角洲之上——一个爬行动物的沼泽天堂。

But this year, the Bangkok Fire and Rescue Department, which removes snakes from homes, has been busier than ever.

但对于要帮民宅除蛇的曼谷市消防和救援局(Bangkok Fire and Rescue Department)来说,今年似乎格外忙碌。

As of Monday, the department had received 31,801 calls this year for help in removing snakes. That is more calls than for all of last year (29,919), and more than three times the number in 2012 (10,492).

截至周一,消防局已经接到了31801通请求除蛇的电话,比去年全年求助电话(29919通)都多,是2012年求助电话数量(10492通)的三倍。

On one recent day, the fire department received 173 snake invasion calls, versus five fire alarms.

不久前的一天,消防局接到报告有蛇入侵的电话173通,接到火警只有5起。

“There’s no way we could survive if there were more fires than snakes,” said Prayul Krongyos, the department’s deputy director.

“如果火灾比蛇还多的话,我们就没法活了,”消防局副局长普莱羽·科隆衣(Prayul Krongyos)说道。

The department’s figures don’t even include the many thousands of snakes that are killed or removed by residents on their own or taken from homes by volunteer handlers.

消防局的数据甚至还没算上由居民自己或由志愿者帮忙在家中杀死或驱赶的成千上万条蛇。

Most of the snakes rescued by firefighters are taken to a wildlife center and eventually released in the wild.

大多数由消防员解救的蛇都被带往野生动物中心,最终放归野外。

Prayul and the department are nowhere near panic. One reason for the rising numbers is growing public awareness that firefighters can help remove snakes and other animals.

普莱羽和消防局一点都不慌乱。数据增长的原因之一是有越来越多的群众意识到,他们可以请消防员来帮忙除蛇或其他动物。

It has also been a wet year, even by Bangkok standards. Heavy rains bring a surge in the number of snakes seeking refuge indoors. Flooding can turn city streets into snake highways as the creatures are forced from their hiding places and swim for higher ground.

即使按曼谷的标准来算,今年也是个多雨的年份。大量的雨水使寻找室内庇护所的蛇类数量剧增。洪水会把城市的街道变成蛇的公路,因为这些动物们从它们的藏身之所被赶了出来,只能游向地势较高的地方。

And as the city of more than 8.2 million people continues to expand into formerly wild lands, the number of snake encounters is rising. Most of the snake removal calls come from neighborhoods on the perimeter of the city where new housing is destroying what’s left of the creatures’ domain, Prayul explained.

这个拥有820万人口的城市正不断向荒地拓张,与蛇接触的机会也在增加。大多数请求除蛇的电话都来自城市边缘的住宅区,普莱羽说,在这些地方,新建的房屋破坏了这些动物仅剩的领地。

“When people build houses in their habitat, of course they will seek a dry spot in people’s houses because they can’t go anywhere else,” he said.

“人在它们的栖息地建造房屋,它们当然会在人的屋子里找一个干燥的地方,因为它们无处可去,”他说。

All reasonable explanations. But casual discussion tends to end when it’s your toilet the snake is in.

解释都很合理。但如果蛇去的是你家的厕所,或许就不会有这样轻松的讨论了。

“There are snakes everywhere!” said Kanok Praditkranok, Panarat’s husband. “They live beneath people’s houses, they live in holes, they live in the wilderness and in the ground. But they shouldn’t be able to enter people’s houses.”

“到处都是蛇!”帕纳拉的丈夫卡诺·普拉迪科诺(Kanok Praditkranok)说道。“它们住在人的房子下面,住在洞穴里,在荒郊野外,在地里。但它们不应该能进到人的房子里呀。”

The reality, though, is that humans cause snakes much more harm than the other way around.

但是现实是,人对蛇造成的伤害,比蛇对人造成的伤害要大得多。

Thailand has more than 200 snake species, including about three dozen that are venomous. But most do not pose a threat to people.

泰国有超过200种不同品种的蛇,其中有大约30多种是毒蛇。但是大多数的蛇对人不构成威胁。

“Stories of snakes invading homes always sound scary, but as long as you don’t provoke them, they won’t hurt you,” Prayul said. “There are only a few cases where snakes come into people’s houses and hurt them.”

“蛇窜进家里的故事听起来总是很吓人的,但只要你不去惹它们,它们也不会伤你,”普莱羽说。“蛇类进屋伤人只是个例。”

In Bangkok, where garbage bags often pile up on sidewalks awaiting collection, snakes perform a public service by catching rats and other vermin.

在曼谷的街道上,常常可以看见无人收捡、堆积成山的垃圾袋,能捕老鼠和其他害虫的蛇其实是在从事公共服务。

“Snakes are among the most misunderstood animals in the world,” said Nonn Panitvong, a leading expert in biodiversity. “People are afraid of snakes and don’t take time to identify them. In Thailand, they just kill the snakes.”

“蛇是世界上被误解最多的动物之一,”生物多样性领域的权威专家侬恩·帕尼翁(Nonn Panitvong)说。“人们都害怕蛇,不花时间去分辨蛇。在泰国,人们会直接杀死它们。”

To keep the animals from being needlessly slaughtered, Nonn helped set up the “Snake at Home” message group on the popular Line phone app. People who encounter a snake can send a photo to the group’s volunteer experts and get an immediate reply on whether it is venomous.

为了使蛇类免受无谓的屠杀,侬恩在流行的手机应用Line上帮助建立了“家里的蛇”(Snake at Home)信息小组。遇到了蛇的人可以给小组内的志愿专家发送照片,并会立刻收到有关这条蛇是否有毒的回复。

“We can give them instant answers so maybe the snake will live,” said Nonn, who in August was named Thailand’s first ASEAN Biodiversity Hero, a new award created by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to honor conservation advocates.

“我们可以立即回复他们,这样或许蛇就能存活,”侬恩说道。在8月时,侬恩被评为泰国首位东盟生物多样性英雄(ASEAN Biodiversity Hero),这是东盟为了表彰保育人士而新设立的奖项。

Started this year, Snake at Home has 29,000 followers and receives nearly 30 identification requests a day.

今年创建的“家里的蛇”有29000名关注者,每日能收到将近30条鉴别请求。

The identification service also has helped save a number of humans.

该鉴别服务也救了一些人类。

Doctors make more than half the identification requests in the hope of learning whether a snake that bit a patient was venomous and, if so, which species, so they can use the correct anti-venom.

过半的鉴别请求来自医生,他们希望确定咬了病人的蛇是否有毒,若有毒是什么品种,这样他们就知道该用哪种抗毒血清。

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