16

May
2019

Animals to look out for on Koh Phangan

Posted By : Katie Monsell/ 9 0

Stepping into unknown territory of the Kingdom of Thailand, what will you find?

Being a tropical island, Koh Phangan may have some creatures you may have never seen before. Lets take a look at the ones you could spot here.

Common House Gecko

Scientific name: Hemidactylus platyurus

Thai name: Ching-chok Hang Ban

Description: 

Around 14 cm long, they vary in colour and markings, but is most common are light grey with dark grey or brown markings. Their tails are very broad and flat, with an usually yellowish underbelly.

Habitat:

These cute little animals are naturally found in forests, but is extremely common in human habitations. You will probably see them in your hotel.

Usually active at night, but will often be seen hunting during the day when indoors. At night they can most easily be found near artificial lighting, where they hunt the insects attracted to the lights.

Diet:

Helps control insect and spider populations. Provides food for snakes and Tokay Geckos.

Harmful?

Poses no danger to humans at all.

Fun Fact:

These geckos have lamellae – incredibly tiny hairs – providing the surface area that allows geckos to cling to vertical surfaces, even ones as smooth as painted walls or glass.

Tokay gecko

Description:

Tokay’s are the second largest lizard in the gecko family, fully grown Tokay’s can reach 11 to 15 inches in length, in appearance they look like the smaller geckos which are very common around just about every house or dwelling in Thailand, except they are much bigger in size. As well as the Tokay’s distinctive sound, it also has a distinctive appearance, usually the body is olive green with brightly colored spots of yellow, red or orange.

Harmful?

They are normally sky creatures, however if a Tokay bites you, best just to let it calm down or submerse it in water, another little tip is to dab vinegar on its nose.

Animal Sounds:

If you stay any length of time in Thailand, you will no doubt hear the Tokay gecko making his distinctive call. First time visitors to Thailand often mistake the Tokay’s call for that of a bird. The sound a Tokay makes when it is calling sounds very much like “tok kay” or “toh kay”, some people liken it to the sound of a cuckoo.

Diet:

Tokay’s mainly eat insects, but they will tackle scorpions, mice and smaller lizards.

Elephants

Phangan Explorers favorite animal! So big and beautiful and surprisingly gentle animals.

Description:

Asian elephants are gray, a coloration that acts as a natural defense by allowing them to blend into the shade of their natural habitats.

Male elephants in Thailand can grow up to 21 feet long, stand 10 feet high, and weigh more than 5 tons, about 11,000 lbs.! Female elephants grow to about 8 ½ feet high and weight less than males.

Elephants are known for their trunks, tusks, and also their charmingly large, flappy ears. Their ears actually help them cool off.

Elephants in the wild have a life expectancy of 30-50 years, and some live up to 60.

Lifestyle:

Elephants are sensitive to the extreme sun and hot temperatures of tropical climates. They often need to hide in the shade or in water like rivers during the hottest times of the day. They also use their trunks to squirt water over their backs or into their mouths, or blow dust and dirt on their backs to cool themselves.

Animal Sounds:

Elephants communicate with a language of rumbles, bellows, moans, growls, and other low-frequency sounds. The noises they use to communicate can travel up to a mile or more, reaching other packs of elephants.

Habitat:

Asian elephants typically live in tropical climates in grassy areas and lowland forests, all the way up to cooler mountain terrain up to 10,000 feet high. They usually live right by large bodies of fresh water.

Diet:

While living in the wild, elephants use their agile trunks to gather fruit, bark, grasses, leaves, and herbs, and then chew and process it with large molars, eating up to 300 lbs. of food a day. While living in zoos or in captivity, each elephant typically eats about 125 lbs. of hay, ten pounds of herbivore pellets, ten pounds of vegetables and fruits, and a few leafy branches as dessert.

Endangered Species:

Sadly the African species numbers are estimated at approximately 500,000 whilst the Asian variety has fallen to an disturbingly low estimated figure of below 30,000.

Fun Fact:

Where does the saying “An elephant never forgets,” come from? Elephants have the largest brains of any land mammal on earth. They also have the largest volume of cerebral cortex of any land mammal, used for cognitive processing.

Dogs

Koh Phangan is home of the dogs! You will see these scruffy/cute/chilled animals just lounging around on the side of the roads or sleeping in the shade.

Do they have homes?

Yes. Not all dogs are strays, they will have collars on and even if not, they usually have someone who feeds them. However many tourists initially set up camp on Koh Phangan and buy a dog, with it only to end up they leave shortly after this … and the dog behind! However a lot of these dogs are taken care of as much as possible by Phangan Animal Care for Strays and also volunteer individuals who keep an eye on them. Check the place out!

Harmful?

These docile dogs are generally very friendly. A lot of the strays have had jabs and been neutered, however you can never be too careful.

Monocled Cobras

Harmful?

Extremely! The monocled cobra is one of Thailand’s most deadly snakes – with highly toxic (neurotoxic + cytotoxic) venom. One bite on your toe from one that jumps out from under your outdoor refrigerator can kill you.

Description:

Monocled cobras are easily identified by looking at the back of the hood – there is a monocle – or eye type shape there. They are light brown to dark grey to solid black. Most are very close to black.

Length:

Typical maximum length about 1.5 meters. They can get up to 2.2 meters – about 7.5 feet long.

Thais name:

Ngoo how hom, Ngoo how mo (long o sound)

Range:

All over Thailand and most of Southeast Asia.

Scary Fact:

Neuro toxic venom affecting nerves, brain, and causing death very quickly without treatment. They are very fast strikers. The baby monocled cobras are every bit as deadly. Please be CAREFUL!

Monkeys


The most common and found on Koh Phangan are the Long tailed Macaques. The species are all over South East Asia and are the most common primate.

Habitat:

These monkeys live in a wide range of habitats including the forests and jungles, mangroves, plantations and on the outskirts of towns and villages. However they can be seen straying away to the beaches and by the side of roads.

Where to find them?

The ones most commonly seen on Koh Phangan will be on the Haad Rin hills. Despite the large signs, tourists still feed they cheeky monkeys. However please remember that by doing this you are going against their nature where they will then become dependent on the unhealthy foods being given to them. Best to watch them from afar.

The monkeys here can sometimes go down to the beach and can be seen swinging around and again these are great for photos but it is better to leave them happily swinging in their tree or on the power lines above.

Harmful?

Sometimes. They can be pesky little thieves, and has been noted to snatch anything in your hand or belongings left outside on your bungalow. They are very quick!

Thailand has a whole wild range of diverse ecosystem. However do your research on what dangerous creatures are out there.

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