Retail tycoon Araya Lapshewasittichards, widely known by her nickname “Jae Leng” (or Sister Leng), said she had to make an unexpected trip to the hospital after a monitor lizard in Bangkok’s Lumpini Park darted straight into her bicycle on Sunday morning.
Centrally located Lumpini Park, one of the most popular public parks in the capital, is home to as many as 400 monitor lizards.
The 68-year-old entrepreneur, who is a bit of a retail icon thanks to her imported cosmetics business near Don Mueang Airport, shared her encounter with a 1.5-meter lizard on Facebook.
“At a curve, I saw a large monitor lizard about 1.5 meters long. I wasn’t sure whether to retreat back or ride forward. And It flicked its tongue at me,” she wrote.
“When I was sure that it wasn’t going to move, I started riding forward, and that’s when the lizard bumped into my bike!”
The impact was enough that Jae Leng fell on her face and had to receive five stitches.
“Jae Leng is not afraid of anything … except monitor lizards,” she added with a wry sense of humor (particularly given her scary encounter).
Accompanying the makeup tycoon’s post was a picture of herself in a hospital bed, with a gauze bandage covering her left cheek.
The injuries apparently weren’t too serious though, as she reportedly left the hospital the same day.
Jae Leng is not the first cyclist to be injured in encounters with monitor lizards at the park. Actually, in 2016, officials ordered the removal of at least 40 lizards, after receiving complaints from cyclists that the creatures cut in front of their bicycles.