BANGKOK, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- With housing developments going up in former rice paddies and forests in Thailand's capital, more calls are being made to report intrusive snakes.
Yutasak Romchatthong, head of the Bangkok Fire and Rescue Department, said there had been 2,935 calls by the end of October bout snakes in houses, the Bangkok Post reported. There were 1,582 in 2008 and 2,744 last year.
Because only calls where the fire department actually finds a snake are recorded, the actual number of calls is probably significantly higher, Yutasak said.
Most of the snakes are pythons or other non-venomous species. But some cobras turn up, especially in areas recently used for farming.
Firefighters are trained to catch the snakes using low-tech equipment, including a net, plastic bag and hook.
Banjong Proybamrung, a volunteer at the Bang Khen Fire Station, said he responds to about four calls a week.
"Most of them are pythons," he said. "But if we find a cobra, there is no choice but to kill them."
The fire department also has to deal with lizards, which are showing up in growing numbers, wasps and stray cats and dogs.