Sathien Kenkudlung’s home is deserted as people stopped coming once his python ‘wife’ Sitthida, seen lying with him below, went away.
The peculiar story of a man who married a python said to be a 600-year-old spirit from his past has taken yet another bizarre twist.
Udon Thani's governor says if the story is a hoax, to cash in on the superstitions of others, then those involved will be prosecuted.
Governor Supoj Laowansiri says he's got information that suggests the whole python-wife story is made up by Ubon Ratchathani conmen.
Probe into story
"Whether it's totally made up to reap benefit for these conmen, or opportunists taking advantage of [the husband of the python] and his sincere beliefs, I'll investigate and take action against these criminals," Supoj promises.
Satien Kenkudlung's python wife slithered away last week, after a short marriage. The volume of curious visitors has dried up. But, Satien's kept the interest of the public sated with the discovery of an egg. He says his departed wife laid it.
Supoj is already on the case, sending experts to investigate.
Satien hit the headlines in early April when his marriage ceremony to the python was publicised. It was said the snake had been his soul mate for six centuries.
Their life together became tabloid and television fodder. The couple made it to popular Channel-3 variety show "Tee Sib", or At Ten. He explained to viewers how he took care of his wife.
Life is not the same for him and Ban Don Yanang village.
Visitors pour in to see the famous snake wife, and yet others come in search of lucky lottery numbers.
"The story may lead some to wrong beliefs and it could be harmful to the village, too," Supoj says. "Some people bathe themselves with water used to wash the python. As a Buddhist, I believe in reasoning and logic and I don't buy this story," he adds. Satien has made money from the drama, with royalties from video sales.
The egg development seems "well planned" says Supoj. He suspects the snake has been hidden when the charlatans heard experts were on the way. He suspects a "grand return" at some stage, too. If the snake comes back by the end of the month, the governor and his boffins are ready to pounce.
Experts debunk the growing belief that the egg is the fruit of Satien's union with the snake, saying the gestation period for a python is 80 days. The marriage was just a fortnight long. Plus, the snakes usually lay a nest of about 30 to 50 eggs. The mother never, never abandons the eggs.
Believe it or not
>> April 3, 2008 - Sathien Kenkudlung marries Sitthida the python in a special ceremony.
>> The newlyweds attract huge attention from the news media. Thousands, including Deputy agriculture Minister Theerachai Saenkaew visit the couple.
>> Their life together becomes the subject of a documentary.
>> April 16 - Sitthida vanishes.
>> April 18 - Sathien finds an egg which he believes his wife has left for him. He hopes his wife will return soon.
>> Visitors continue to pour into Ban Don Yanang village to see the famous snake-wife or in search of lottery ticket numbers.
>> It was said the snake had been his soul mate for 600 years.
>> Experts have debunked theories that the egg is the fruit of Sathien's union with the python.