Couple almost steps on king cobra at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, thinking it was 'fallen branch'

Submitted by Stomper Sachindra

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Stomper Sanchindra was hiking with his wife at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve when they spotted what they believed was a fallen branch.

Not thinking much about it, they stepped closer towards it but was suddenly stopped by a passer-by who recognised that it was actually a king cobra.

Sachindra told Stomp about the incident that happened on Sunday (Nov 29) at 5pm, and shared his relief that someone had alerted them before it was too late.

"My wife and I had never visited Bukit Timah Nature Reserve before. Since it was our first time trekking there, we were excited to enjoy the nature around us," Sachindra shared.

"When we saw something long on the footpath in front of us, we thought it was just a fallen branch and started to walk closer to it.

"Suddenly, a woman shouted at us not to cross as it was a snake. We immediately stepped away from it.

"I'm so glad the woman alerted us as one of us could have been bitten by it.

"In the end, my wife and I just kept our distance and admired the snake from afar. It was really nice to see such a beautiful animal in the wild."

Sachindra added that this incident served as a reminder for everyone to be careful when trekking in such forested areas.

"Just keep a lookout and remember to warn those around you if you spot any wild animals at nature reserves," he said.

In response to a Stomp query, Mr Kalai Vanan, deputy chief executive officer of Acres, said: "The snake in the photo is an adult king cobra that looks to be about 3m long. This beautiful snake is only occasionally sighted in Singapore.

"This video is a classic example of how snakes mind their own business if left alone and not provoked."

Mr Kalai added that as visitorship to the nature reserves has seen an increase this year, everyone should always be aware and alert when visiting these parks.

"We have to remember that we (humans) are the visitors now and it is only when we pay attention to our surroundings can we get to see such beautiful wildlife around," Mr Kalai said.

"If you encounter a snake or any other wildlife crossing your path, give it space and time to cross or move off. Do not taunt, provoke or shout at the animal.

"Photography is fine but please do keep a safe distance at all times."

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

  • Try your best to remain calm.
  • Do not confront the snake and keep your distance away from the snake.
  • Do not try to handle the snake yourself. Snakes would rather not encounter humans, and it is probably as scary for them as it is for you.