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NParks investigating after python suffers injury when being removed from car engine

The National Parks Board (NParks) is investigating the incident where a 2m-long python that was stuck in a car engine got injured after being removed by members of the public.

On Oct 28 at around 8am, Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) received a call to rescue a reticulated python stuck in the engine compartment of a sports utility vehicle at an open-air Housing Board carpark in Marine Crescent.

According to Acres co-chief executive Kalai Vanan Balakrishnan, when the rescue team was on sight, they saw the snake coiled around a tube in the engine compartment, and the rescue team could not reach it without a mechanic.

Chinese news outlet Shin Min Daily News reported that it had coiled itself around the tube after a man used a stick to poke at the snake.

Mr Vanan said that while the rescue team was waiting for the veterinarian to arrive, a member of the public had pulled the snake out and injured it in the process.

According to Shin Min, three men had used sticks to poke at the snake before they pulled the python out by the tail. They then put the reptile into a bag that was used to store flour.

The Straits Times understands NParks is looking into whether the men are guilty of animal cruelty.

Three men reportedly used sticks to poke at the snake before they pulled the python out by the tail. They then put the reptile into a bag that was used to store flour. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

Under the Animals and Birds Act, first-time offenders caught causing cruelty to an animal can be fined up to $15,000, jailed up to 18 months, or both.

In response to queries from ST, Mr Ryan Lee, Group Director of Wildlife Management at NParks, said the python is under the care of the NParks’ Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation. He added the python is responsive and alert.

Mr Lee said: “Snakes are generally shy creatures that will usually slither away from humans. They may try to defend themselves if they feel cornered or threatened and should be left alone.”

He added that members of the public should call NParks’ 24-hour Animal Response Centre at 1800-476-1600 if they encounter a snake in a public area and require assistance.

“They should observe from a safe distance, stay calm and back away, giving it space to retreat,” said Mr Lee, adding that no attempts should be made to approach or handle the snake, and that any pets should be kept on a tight leash.

WILDLIFESINGAPORE WILDLIFEnational parks board