Occasionally, reticulated pythons are spotted in Singapore, especially in areas where there are lush greenery and an abundance of prey such as rats.
Or even cats.
While many people find cats endearing, not many extend the same affection towards reptiles like the pythons.
Python was injured by a drain cover
In a Facebook post on Jan. 21, animal welfare group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) shared an incident where a heavy metal drain cover was thrown at a reticulated python named Seth.
Seth was seen by passers-by, in Boon Lay at around 1 am, constricting a community cat to death. Just as it was about to devour the dead cat, a person hurled a drain cover at it.
Seth suffered a minor fracture as a result of the impact.
Greater empathy for pythons
Even though throwing the drain cover on the python was a desperate attempt to rescue the cat, Acres questions whether hurting or killing the python was really necessary.
Pythons preying on smaller animals has always been part of the urban ecosystem.
Furthermore, Acres also explained that pythons are commonly perceived negatively as "scary, slithery, silent, dangerous", attributes which are not true.
When unprovoked, pythons are shy creatures that will rather shun human beings.
Acres proved this point subsequently in the comment section with a video of them releasing Seth back into the wild.
In this video, the mildly injured python can be seen quickly heading back into the bushes after feeling the nudges from the trained wildlife rescue officer.
Here's the full text in the post:
Seth the reticulated python was out hunting, and being the opportunistic hunter that they are, he locked in on a stray cat, constricted the feline, and was ready to consume the carcass. At this point, he was attacked by a human who threw a drain cover on him. Seth sustained a minor fracture, but it would have hurt- just like any other fracture. And being a sentient being, he would have suffered.
Many of you may find that Seth got what he deserved- especially when you think it could happen to your cat or small dog.
For many, it will be difficult to feel empathy for a python: scary, slithery, silent, dangerous… Generally unappreciated and unwanted.
It is easy to love one species, hate another, tolerate some at our convenience (until they cross our threshold), and despise the ones we fear.
But do we really have to kill or hurt them? Or remove them out of our sight for our comfort? If so, why? What does it say about our society as a developed country?
[FIGHT OR FLIGHT]
In the video posted in the comment section, you’ll notice how our trained wildlife rescue officer taps him towards the end of his body to urge him in his way. All Seth wanted to do was to get away from whatever that was at his tail end. He knew we (humans) were that, but his instincts, just like other snakes, is to flee, not fight (especially for predators as large as us). They prefer to reserve their energy for their prey like rats, or the opportunistic meal of a chicken or cat.
Reticulated pythons in Singapore do not swallow humans. Why? Because of their available diet. They do not grow to magnificent sizes because their prey is mainly rodents, at times other smaller mammals and opportunistically, community cats.
#ACRES #Coexistence #Biodiversity
Top photo collage from Acres Facebook page
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