Acres reminds public not to handle snakes after men capture python at Changi Beach

Submitted by Stomper Razlee

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The Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) has reminded the public not to handle wild animals or capture them.

This reminder comes after an incident where a few men were seen capturing a python at Changi Beach on Nov 15.

The incident, which happened at 11am, was caught on video by Stomper Razlee who was at the beach with his family when the python appeared out of nowhere.

"Everyone was enjoying their day at the beach when a python suddenly appeared from a hole near the roots of a large tree," said Razlee.

"My daughters were really excited to see a snake in the open but I made sure they didn't get too close.

"I also heard passers-by telling swimmers to get out of the water as it was high tide and the water started flowing towards the trees."

Razlee added that he was surprised to see a snake at the beach and was glad that this did not happen at night.

"At least this happened in the morning so the snake could be clearly seen," Razlee said.

"I'm glad that a few men stepped up and helped to capture the snake. These men caught the snake pretty quickly and placed it in a net while waiting for Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) personnel to arrive."

In response to a Stomp query, Mr Kalai Vanan, deputy chief executive officer of Acres said: "The snake is a reticulated python which seems to be about 2.5m to 3m. This native species can be found islandwide here in Singapore."

Mr Kalai added that Acres was not involved in the rescue operation.

"From the photos and videos, it seems that members of the public took matters into their own hands to capture the snake," said Mr Kalai.

"Acres would like to urge the public to never attempt to capture wild animals such as snakes on their own. Instead, they can help to control crowds and monitor the animal.

"Without proper training which includes animal welfare aspects, you may hurt yourself, people around you and the animal itself through improper handling.

"If you see any wild animal(s) in distress, please call the 24-hr ACRES wildlife rescue hotline at 97837782 or National Parks Board (NParks)."

According to NParks, here is what you should do if you encounter a snake:

  1. Resist the urge to attack it with a broom or stick. Do not confront the snake and keep your distance away from the snake. The snake may try to look for a dark and secure area and you should observe to see where it hides, so that it can be removed by professionals.
  2. Make sure that young children and pets like dogs or cats are kept away from the room or area where the snake is, as they may be curious and try to approach the snake.
  3. Close all doors in the room, except for those that lead to the outside like your balcony, patio or front doors. Sometimes the snake will look for an escape route and will use these openings.
  4. If the snake is in the garden, spray it gently with a water hose to send it on its way while keeping your distance. This will persuade the snake to leave the area. If you find a snake in your pool, you can use a long handled leaf skimmer to gently remove the snake, as it may not be able to get out on its own if it is small or exhausted from swimming.
  5. If the snake is in an open area like the floor and not moving much, the best thing to do is to place an object over it like a heavy blanket or towel. Hold the towel/blanket in front of you when approaching it, and then firmly cast it over the snake. The snake should immediately calm down and will feel secure if it cannot see what is going on outside the blanket. If possible, place heavy objects around the edge to prevent the snake from slipping out from underneath the towel/blanket and escaping. This will buy you some time to get help.
  6. If the snake is found in a drawer, behind furniture or somewhere difficult to access, leave it alone; move all family members away from the immediate area and, most of all, do not attempt to interact with it at all. Call for professional help. Have someone to keep an eye on the snake from a safe distance and note where it goes into hiding while you are contacting for help.
  7. Next, find out why the snake came to your area. Do you keep rodents or birds? Are there birds nesting in your garden, do you have a rodent problem in the house or garden? Some snakes prey on small mammals like rabbits, rats and cats, as well as birds and amphibians.

View more photos in the gallery.