SINGAPORE - A snake has been spotted in a toilet bowl at a motor parts store in Upper Thomson twice in recent weeks, with an employee alerting neighbours so they would not be bitten or hurt by the creature.
Mr Jimmy Lim, a manager at Scotts Motors which is located in a row of shophouses along Soo Chow Walk, told The Straits Times on Monday (Sept 25) that he saw the python in the toilet bowl last week.
He said he had seen the same snake a week before, but the workers did not alert any animal authorities as they thought it would slither away.
"I wasn't scared of it because I always go jungle trekking," said Mr Lim, who is in his 60s. "I saw only the head. Judging from the size of the head, it could be up to 2m long."
He said the snake was "no trouble", but added that he alerted the neighbours so they would not get bitten or hurt by it.
His daughter Lim Sze Hui posted a video of the python in the toilet bowl on Facebook. The head of the snake can be seen in the water, with its tongue flicking out.
Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) deputy chief executive Anbarasi Boopal told ST that the snake in the video was a reticulated python, which are common in Singapore.
Mr Kalai Vanan, Acres deputy chief executive officer, added that Acres did not receive a call about the incident, but has received calls about snakes being found in toilet bowls in Singapore in the past.
However, these incidents are rare.
"We are not certain why this happens, but our storm drainage networks are home to wild animals like snakes," he said. "Once in a while, snakes like pythons manage to find their way into the sewer system."
He added that people who spot a snake in a toilet bowl should leave the lid up, close the toilet windows and doors, switch off the lights and call Acres.
" The snake may be trying to come out and the best way to safely and humanely rescue the animal would be to wait for the snake to come out first," he said.
Wildlife naturalist Serin Subaraj previously told ST that snakes do not seek to attack people and are generally timid, striking only if cornered or handled inappropriately.
Snakes may end up in urban areas while tracking their prey.
According to a joint advisory by the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore, National Parks Board and Wildlife Reserves Singapore, people who encounter snakes are advised not to handle the snake.
Instead, they can call the Acres wildlife-rescue hotline on 9783-7782 or AVA's number on 1800-476-1600.