Thursday, January 15, 2009

10 ft python found at Pasir Ris HDB void deck

10 ft python found at Pasir Ris HDB void deck
This huge python, over 10-feet in length, was found at the void deck of this block of flats in Pasir Ris. Policemen later arrived on the scene and captured the snake.

In an email yesterday (Jan 14) STOMPer Suresh said:

"I was on the way to my office in the morning at about 8 am when I caught sight of the python.

"It was huge, more than 10 feet long. It looked so ferocious!

"2 Police officers soon arrived on the scene and caught the snake. They put it in a gunny sack and took it away, in front of a large crowd.

"The area around the block is not even heavily wooded or anything. Neither are there big open drains nearby. Where are these creatures coming from?"

10 ft python found at Pasir Ris HDB void deck
10 ft python found at Pasir Ris HDB void deck

Related post: Beware! Snake skin spotted in Ang Mo Kio (20th January 2009)
Snake found in Yuan Ching Sec (7th February 2009)

I've wondered from time to time about the fate of those snakes that are rounded up and taken away by the police. This post by Chee Kong (who really ought to carry on blogging about snakes) sheds some light on what happens to them.

This is a very cool discovery; reticulated pythons (Broghammerus reticulatus) are not uncommonly encountered in urban Singapore, but finding a specimen of such size in broad daylight is certainly a rare occurrence. This species is capable of reaching 10 metres in length, though such giants are almost definitely all but gone. Even so, large individuals can definitely pose some threat to people; constrictors like boas and pythons are extremely powerful snakes, and there have been several cases where people were constricted to death by pythons too small to consider humans as prey.

The person who submitted this post raised the question as to where this snake could have come from. We cannot rule out the possibility that this was an illegal pet that somehow escaped or was released. Still, I think it is more plausible that such large pythons have been living in the area all along, moving around via the network of drains and sewers, or coiled up in the trees, emerging only under the cover of nightfall. I'm sure there is plenty of prey, in the form of rats, birds and the occasional stray cat or dog. Nigel Marven, Jules Sylvester, and Brady Barr are among the various people who have been featured in documentaries travelling to Singapore in search of giant pythons lurking in our drains.

It is fascinating to note that two of the world's largest reptiles, the reticulated python and Malayan water monitor (Varanus salvator), are found in Singapore, and are adaptable enough to survive in close proximity to humans. Now, I wonder if someone has ever witnessed a clash between these reptilian titans.