Snake Farm of Dong Tam

Dong Tam Snake Farm, in Binh Duc Commune, Chau Thanh District, Tien Giang Province, is the main center for snake farming and snakebite treatment in the Cuu Long River Delta, located about 9 kilometers west of My Tho City. It has long been a popular tourist destination for both domestic and international visitors.

 

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On October 27, 1979, Dong Tam Snake Farm was founded in an area riddled with mines and barbed wire left behind by the US troops.

The farm's responsibilities include conducting scientific research, raising and protecting valuable snake species, medicinal plants and animals, making traditional remedies, and giving first aid and care to anyone bitten by dangerous snakes in the area. Dong Tam Snake Farm has evolved into a research institution with outstanding results in the treatment of individuals.

The state bestowed the title of "Labour Hero" on it in 1989.

The farm is 12 hectares in size. There are separate regions for raising valuable snake species such as king cobras, burrowing cobras, and ringhals, as well as a hospital for snakebite treatment, a research department, an animal reserve, and a snake museum.

 

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When we went to Dong Tam Snake Farm, we followed lieutenant-colonel Vu Ngoc Luong, the Deputy Director. When we saw the cobras, which were about 4 meters long and weighed 18-20 kilograms, curled up with an upright flattened head and dazzling eyes, we were both terrified and fascinated. They appeared to be planning an attack on us. 

Cobras are a type of venomous elapid. They are known as the "king" of snakes and are categorized as "E" in Vietnam's Red Book. They are known as cloud tigers because they crawl as quickly as the clouds that float in the wind. The cobras only have one baby snake each year. Dong Tam Snake Farm now boasts roughly 200 parent cobras and a large number of baby snakes ranging in age from 3 months to a year.

Cobras are a rare and dangerous animal. They are classed as "T" grade and are state protected. One gram of its venom is enough to kill 160 persons weighing 60 kg.

Another elapid species found primarily in mountainous and midland areas can spew venom up to 1.4 meters away, thus visitors should keep a safe distance. The vipers are often hiding in the greenery. They appear soft and slow at first, but when they are in danger, they strike with lightning speed. The venom of this species ruptures blood vessels, resulting in cardiac arrest and death of the victim.

 

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On average, the center handles approximately 1,000 poisonous snake victims each year. It got almost 10 billion VND in 2005 from the state, ministries, and sectors to construct an emergency ward with facilities, machines, and equipment for the treatment of snakebites.

Patients have been treated here for free since March of 2006. Thousands of people have been saved by the institution throughout the years after being bitten by dangerous snakes.

It boasts a staff of experts and certified doctors who have treated snakebites before. The center also grows Vietnamese medicinal herbs and extracts the venom of king cobras and vipers to make medicines and serums for snakebite therapy. It offers hundreds of drug categories for a variety of disorders, ranging from influenza and headaches to heart, liver, and stomach problems.

 

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The My Tho-Thoi Son Isle-Dong Tam Snake Farm tour includes a one-of-a-kind stop at Dong Tam Snake Farm. The tour guide at the farm will teach tourists about each type of snake, their traits and physiology, as well as how to discern between venomous and non-venomous snakes so that they can survive snake bites. Visitors appear to be disoriented in a snake kingdom with hundreds of species.

Many snakes are winding their way around the trees. Many rare and valuable amphibian species, such as pythons, crocodiles, and turtles, are under risk of extinction in Vietnam, and visitors have the opportunity to witness them. Dong Tam Snake Farm features a museum with over 40 snake specimens that have been recorded in Vietnam's national records. This is Vietnam's first snake museum.

Visitors will appreciate the tranquil ambience of the fruit gardens, which are reminiscent of a peaceful countryside, in addition to learning about snakes. Approximately 30,000-40,000 domestic and international tourists visit this location each year.

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