Establish protocol for handling snakes found in urban areas

The incident two weeks ago is just one of several recent cases of snakes being found in urban areas (Pest control, police officers called in to remove snake coiled around lamp post in Bukit Batok; ST Online, Oct 23).

The reticulated python is native to Singapore and is protected by certain laws.

The man, believed to be from a pest control company, should not have tried to remove the snake.

As it did not appear to pose an immediate threat to the public, the man should have called the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) instead, as its officers are properly trained to remove such animals without harming them.

The policemen present should have known better and stopped him from taking matters into his own hands.

It is likely that snake sightings in urban areas will keep increasing. A better protocol to handle such cases should be worked out among stakeholders such as the police, pest control firms, town councils, Acres and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority.

Liu Hon Jin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 03, 2017, with the headline 'Establish protocol for handling snakes found in urban areas'. Print Edition | Subscribe