Large python rescued from drain at Choa Chu Kang HDB block

A composite photo showing a reptile being taken from a drain near Block 20 Teck Whye Lane on 16 August 2022. (SCREENGRABS: Gan Kim Yong/Facebook)
The reptile was spotted by a worker during a routine drain clearing near Block 20 Teck Whye Lane at about 9.30am on 16 August, 2022. (SCREENCAPS: Gan Kim Yong/Facebook)

SINGAPORE — A large python has been rescued in Choa Chu Kang after it was spotted in a shallow drain on the ground floor of a Housing Development Board block.

In response to queries from Yahoo News Singapore, a Chua Chu Kang Town Council spokesperson said the python was spotted by one of its conservancy workers during a routine drain clearing near Block 20 Teck Whye Lane at about 9.30am on Tuesday (16 August).

Following the discovery, the town council's property officer alerted Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) and cordoned off the area for the safety of residents, she added.

"Throughout the process, our town council staff were onsite while Acres successfully rescued the python at 10.28am," the spokesperson said.

In a video posted by Chua Chu Kang GRC's Member of Parliament and Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong on Facebook on Tuesday evening, two Acres rescuers could be seen retrieving the python, which appears to be about two metres long, and placing it into a styrofoam box.

Not the first time

In June, a python was also rescued by Acres in the same area at Block 19 Teck Whye Lane.

Such occurrences are not rare, said Acres co-chief executive Kalai Vanan Balakrishnan, as reticulated pythons have adapted well to Singapore’s urban landscape by taking advantage of its well-connected drain and canal networks.

"The sudden downpour of heavy rain in the morning may have flooded drains, causing the snake to seek higher grounds. The python will eventually be microchipped and released back to the wild," he told Yahoo News Singapore.

Kalai added that having such pythons around in Singapore's urban areas is important in keeping rat populations in check.

Many wild animals, such as pythons, are shy and will always move away from people unless they are provoked or threatened, he said.

"As we move towards being a city in nature, we would need to take a more balanced view about wild animals in our backyard. With more awareness raising and educational efforts among the vast community about these animals and the 'do’s and don’ts', I believe Singaporeans can get past misconceptions about some of these animals and hopefully be more tolerant of them," Kalai said.

Members of the public who see any wildlife in trouble can call the Acres 24-hour wildlife rescue hotline at 97837782.

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