Residents of nature, including pythons, sometimes find themselves caught in a tough spot when navigating urbanized Singapore.
On September 20, 2021, rescuers from the non-profit Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) were alerted to a reticulated python that had become stuck in a drainage pipe.
The incident occurred at a monsoon drain in Senoko, near the Admiralty side.
A worker at a nearby factory noticed the python appeared to be stuck and called Acres for help, Acres co-CEO Kalai Vanan said. Mothership.
The rescue operation lasted 3.5 hours in total, involving six people from Team Acres.
As you can see from the time and manpower involved, it was definitely not an easy rescue.
3.5 hour rescue operation
According to Kalai, rescuers first had to find a safe platform to stand on before trying to free the snake from the drainage pipe.
“The water below was relatively deep,” he added.
A long ladder was placed against the canal so that rescuers could stand while tending to the python.
Another challenge was to work in the sun, as the python shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period, Kalai said.
This would cause the reptile to dehydrate. So more labor was needed.
Rescuers Wayne Goh and Julia Waters focused on removing the python from the drainage hose, while Venisri Prithivi Raj and Alicia Wee of the vet team calmed the snake and helped monitor its health during the operation.
There were also Laura Day and Gerald Huang, who run the rescue hotline and were on hand to assist with the rescue.
“Most of this team are quite experienced and worked on it day in and day out during Covid-19,” Kalai said.
He added that Acres’ passionate team of volunteers and staff are always up for tough challenges and take pride in the efforts to save all wildlife, not just endangered ones.
Here’s a clip from the rescue, where you can hear the crew cheering as Goh and Waters finally pulled the reptile out of the narrow pipe:
The long-awaited moment:
Python in drainage pipes is not uncommon
Acres has saved “countless pythons and other snakes” from such situations, Kalai said Mothership.
This is because pythons use drainage pipes to move around our urban areas. When one end of the drainage pipes is clogged or when the snake meets a dead end, it will create a “sealed vacuum effect”, preventing the snake from turning over.
Snakes can also get stuck in pieces of metal protruding from inside the pipe, causing them to land in such unfortunate situations, Kalai added.
Pythons and other snakes get a bad rap due to myths and fictions that instill fear in people.
The truth is that pythons, like many other wildlife, only attack when they feel threatened or provoked.
If you see animals in distress, you can contact the Acres Wildlife Rescue Team at 9783 7782 or NParks at 1800 476 1600.
Top image courtesy of Acres