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Monk attacked by a swarm of hornets in northern Thailand

Maya Taylor

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Monk attacked by a swarm of hornets in northern Thailand | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Sanook
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A monk at a temple in the northern province of Lampang, south of Chiang Mai, has been attacked by a swarm of hornets, resulting in him being stung at least 30 times on his face, lips and body. Thai Residents reports that the attack took place at night as the monk was feeding the temple dogs.

Rescue workers were dispatched to Mother Suchada Temple after receiving reports of the attack. They found the monk, named only as 65 year old ‘Ekkachai’, in a serious condition, extremely nauseous and showing signs of tachycardia, when the heart beats at over 100 beats a minute. He was given emergency first aid on the spot and then transferred to Lampang Hospital for further treatment. It’s understood one or more of the dogs were also stung in the incident; their condition is not known.

The hornets are believed to be the species Vespa affinis, or lesser banded hornet, common in Asia. The abbot at the temple says they have been building a nest for around 2 months, with the nest growing by the day. He says he hopes someone who knows something about the insects could help with relocating the nest as he fears they may attack again.

Monk attacked by a swarm of hornets in northern Thailand | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Vespa affinis

The “lesser banded hornet” is a small to medium-sized hornet, with queens reaching up to 30mm, males 26mm and workers averaging 22 to 25mm.

The head is brownish red or black, pubescent, with some red markings on frons and vertex, black temple; compound eyes and ocelli black; dark brown antennae and usually pale brown underneath; black clypeus, coarsely punctate, posterior side of clypeus with broadly rounded lobes; mandibles and tooth black. Thorax black with many punctures and some erected hairs, propodeum black. Legs dark brown. Wings dark fuscous brown, tegulae dark brown. Gaster with some fine punctures, dark brown segments except first and second segments yellowish orange. In some specimens, the yellowish orange on the first tergite may be reduced to two transverse spots and a narrow apical band.

There are many colour variants across the range of the species, originally considered subspecies but no longer recognised; while there is a history of recognising subspecies within many of the Vespa hornets, the most recent taxonomic revision of the genus treats all subspecific names in the genus Vespa as synonyms, effectively relegating them to no more than informal names for regional colour forms. In Hong Kong and South China the wasps are mainly black, with the first two abdominal segments being a deep yellow, forming a conspicuous band. The sides of the head and thorax display some reddish brown. In Southeast Asian regions such as Singapore they are fully black, without reddish brown markings, and the abdominal band is a brilliant orange – Wikipedia.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Transport

Trucks lining up at border checkpoint after Myanmar imposes cross-border quota

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Trucks lining up at border checkpoint after Myanmar imposes cross-border quota | The Thaiger

Over 600 trucks are stranded at the border between Thailand and Myanmar after the latter country imposed a Covid-19 cross-border quota-allowing only 6 trucks per day to cross from each side. The trucks are carrying goods across the Mae Sai border checkpoint in Chiang Rai to be delivered to the town of Tachileik in the neighbouring country.

The tight restrictions come after Myanmar has seen an uptick in Covid cases and the clamp down is reportedly part of the effort to control the spread of the virus. Before the surge in cases, the country was allowing up to almost 170 goods transport trucks to enter from Thailand in an effort to bolster trading between the 2 nations.

Now, however, the restrictions are causing trucks to pile up in the hundreds as they await to cross. Some truck drivers, who are worried their products may spoil before making it across the border, are taking to selling their goods on the street in front of the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge.

The Thai - Burmese Border Gate (Mae Sai) - 2020 All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

 

The trade across borders between the two countries is considered to be lucrative as it was valued at 12.2 billion Thai baht this past year with the export of products making up the majority of its value. The Mae Sai Customs Office has reportedly collected up to 23.7 million Thai baht in tariff and taxes during the last year.

There is no word yet on when the border quota will be lifted to allow more trucks to pass over the borders.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Environment

Hunt for wild tiger sighted at maize plantation in northern Thailand

Maya Taylor

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Hunt for wild tiger sighted at maize plantation in northern Thailand | The Thaiger
A tiger at Huey Kha Kheng wildlife sanctuary - PHOTO: Anan Kaewkhammul

A drone has been deployed in the hunt for a wild tiger believed to have wandered outside its natural habitat at the Huey Kha Kheng wildlife sanctuary. The sanctuary, in the northern province of Uthai Thani, has brought in forest rangers in an attempt to track down the tiger, whose footprints were spotted in a nearby maize plantation.

Hunt for wild tiger sighted at maize plantation in northern Thailand | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Thai PBS World

Sanctuary chief, Permsak Kanitthachart, says rangers from the Khao Khieu forest protection unit are working with officials from the Khao Nang Rum wildlife research station to locate the big cat and drive it back to its rightful domain. Thai PBS World reports that a sighting was reported Tuesday evening, with local residents advised to stay indoors at night.

On Wednesday morning, more tiger footprints, and the carcass of what is believed to be a dog, were found in the maize plantation. Rangers say they hope to find the tiger and return it to the jungle sanctuary within the week, adding that they fear villagers may kill it if it remains in the area.

Thailand’s wild tigers are under threat, despite renewed efforts to protect them and increase the population. A number of sightings have been caught on camera recently, but there are believed to be fewer than 150 tigers left in the wild.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Northern Thailand

Tak immigration officials arrest 30 Burmese migrants and Thai driver

Maya Taylor

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Tak immigration officials arrest 30 Burmese migrants and Thai driver | The Thaiger
The Moei River between the Thai and Burmese borders - PHOTO: Manop / Wikipedia

Immigration police in the northern province of Tak have arrested 30 Burmese migrants, along with the Thai driver who tried to drive them back into the Kingdom illegally. Police chief Sompong Chingduang says the Burmese nationals crossed the border via the Moei River and were then picked up by a Thai man, named only as Chinathip. He is accused of hiding them in a truck and attempting to drive them to an agreed drop-off point in Tak.

“Immigration Police in Tak province stopped a suspicious pickup truck at 10.15pm on Wednesday, on the Tha Song Yang to Mae Sariang Road, in Tha Song Yang district. There were 16 Burmese migrants on board, and none of them had proper documentation. The driver, 25 year old Chinathip, a local of Tak province, reportedly confessed that he was paid by an agency to pick up the migrants who had crossed the Moei River and were hiding in a house near the river bank and then drop them off in inner Tak.”

Tak immigration officials arrest 30 Burmese migrants and Thai driver | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Following the arrest of the 16 migrants and their driver, police raided the house where they’d been hiding and found a further 14 Burmese nationals awaiting pick-up. Chinathip has been charged with assisting undocumented migrants to enter the country illegally and concealing them from officials. The 30 Burmese have been charged with entering the Kingdom illegally and violating provincial regulations on the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Police are also continuing their investigation to identify the people behind the agency that paid Chinathip.

The latest arrests come as Thailand tries to clamp down on illegal migrants, as a spike in Covid-19 cases in Myanmar fuels fears the disease could be brought into Thailand by those entering illegally and foregoing health checks and quarantine. Thailand has a long, shared and ‘leaky’ border with Myanmar, running from the Chiang Rai area in the north to Ranong in the south.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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