Why snakes are disappearing from Southeast Asia’s largest lake
KRAKOR, CAMBODIAHer name is Den Yam, but people know her as the “snake lady.”
We’ve come to the floating village where Yam, 48, lives deep inside the flooded forest surrounding Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake, to talk to her about the world’s largest snake hunt.
Sitting on a wooden floor in front of a wall lined with gold-framed portraits of Cambodian royalty, Yam warmly receives our group of fish experts. She explains that area fishermen come to sell her aquatic snakes—“the one with the white belly,” “the one that eats frogs,” and so on—which she then prepares for sale. The skins are boiled and used to feed fish many people keep in their houses to sell or use as food for their families.