Sighting of a reticulated python (and what to do if you encounter one)

During my lunch shift earlier this afternoon, I was pushing my bicycle past a large tree when I saw something moving on my right side.

It was a young reticulated python, apparently disturbed from its sleep at the foot of the tree along Kallang River PCN.

I stopped to observe it, and it appeared a little frightened as it adopted a defensive pose.

I remained standing behind the bicycle, while the python attempted a mock strike, gaping and baring its fangs but went no further, as if to say, “whoever you are that woke me up, don’t come any closer or I will bite you.”

I instinctively moved to one side to maintain a safer distance and watched it slide its head back to its cosy corner at the tree roots.

Soon the snake coiled its long body more tightly and settled in snugly to continue its peaceful snooze.

This is an educational opportunity for us to see that snakes aren’t dangerous to human beings, so long as we don’t disturb or provoke them and we keep a safe distance from them.

Pythons are also beneficial for our ecosystem, as noted in the articleSpot a python? Just leave it alone, advise wildlife groups” (10 July 2019):

“Most people may not be aware that snakes play a vital role in regulating Singapore’s ecosystem, said wildlife experts.

As an apex predator preying on small mammals like rats, reticulated pythons are a natural way of keeping pest numbers low.

“Pythons are an important biological control for local rat populations,” said Dr Sonja Luz, director of Conservation, Research and Veterinary Services at Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS).

She cited a study funded by WRS, which had found that reticulated pythons in Singapore eat mainly rats – 75 per cent of its diet is made up of rodents.

Removing the reptiles may thus result in more rats in the area, ACRES said.”

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