Sssurprise visitor at Bt Batok wet market

An Acres officer says the snake was likely eating a rat when it was first spotted.
An Acres officer says the snake was likely eating a rat when it was first spotted.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/SUNNY RAJAH

A stray python caused a stir at a wet market in Bukit Batok yesterday morning, with a crowd of people gathering to take photos and videos of the reptile.

A video posted by Facebook user Sunny Rajah shows the large snake coiled in the eaves of a roof.

Several people are shown crowding around, taking videos of it and chattering excitedly.

Mr Rajah later posted a photo of the crowd of about 30 to 40 people, "all waiting for the snake to come out".

Mr Kalai Vanan, deputy chief executive officer of wildlife rescue group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), said that the group received a call about the python in the morning.

"It is our native reticulated python which was sighted at a wet market," he said, declining to reveal the exact location.

"We believe the python was eating a rat when it was first sighted. The snake had gone back into some roof gap and could not be located."

He added that "there is nothing to be worried about".

"Rats and small birds do tend to use roofing areas as homes and the snake probably decided to stay there to find food," he said. "Areas like wet markets do tend to attract rats and this in turn will attract pythons which are great at controlling rat populations."

Reticulated pythons, which are 2.3m long on average, are common in Singapore.

People who encounter snakes are advised not to handle the reptile. Instead, they can call Acres at 9783-7782 or Agri-food and the Veterinary Authority of Singapore at 1800-476-1600.

Lydia Lam

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 29, 2018, with the headline 'Sssurprise visitor at Bt Batok wet market'. Print Edition | Subscribe