Sunday, June 5, 2011

Snake spotted on Upper Thomson Rd

Snake spotted on Upper Thomson Rd

STOMPer Goh spotted this snake on Old Upper Thomson Road early this morning (Jun 5) at about 2am.

It slithered away into the undergrowth as the STOMPer was taking pictures. The snake was 2.5m long, estimates Mr Goh.

The STOMPer said over the phone:

"It's a beautiful snake, about 2.5m long.

"I think they are still quite common in Singapore."

The snake appears to be a reticulated python. STOMP understands that the python, which can grow to over 8m long, is common in Singapore, and feeds on small animals like rats, birds and even cats and dogs.

Reticulated pythons are not venomous, and kill their prey through constriction.
Snake spotted on Upper Thomson Rd
Snake spotted on Upper Thomson Rd
Snake spotted on Upper Thomson Rd
Snake spotted on Upper Thomson Rd

This is a useful record of a reticulated python (Broghammerus reticulatus), a snake which is widely distributed and common in many habitats throughout Singapore, from forests to urban residential areas.


(Photo by ACRES)

It's not stated where exactly along Upper Thomson Road was the snake seen, since this is a very long road that skirts nearly the eastern edge of the Central Catchment Area, from Marymount to Mandai Road. I am not surprised that a reticulated python would be seen in this area, considering that it is so adaptable.

Why did the python cross the road?

This python made it across safely and was not harmed by passing traffic, but others are not always so lucky. The Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) Wildlife Rescue team is often activated in response to calls of pythons being seen in urban areas, but some of them turn out to have been run over by vehicles and have to be euthanised, if they are not already dead. Some manage to slither off the road, but eventually succumb to severe internal injuries. At the same time, it is heartening to read stories about ordinary people who go out of the way to help a python on the road.


Sembawang;
(Photo by ACRES)

Snakes are likely to seek out roads because of the heat that is given off; being cold-blooded, snakes will look for sources of heat, especially after a heavy meal. Since their metabolism is tied to their body temperature, the warmer a snake, the quicker it will take to digest a meal. This is important, as a meal that is left undigested for too long may putrefy, killing the snake. Of course, this puts them at great risk of getting run over by traffic.


Yishun;
(Photo by ACRES)

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