If you encounter a snake, try your best to remain calm! Snakes would rather not encounter humans, and it is probably as scary for them as it is for you. Do not try to handle the snake yourself.
If you're not sure what kind of snake it is, take a digital photograph and email to the Zoo at firstname.lastname@example.org or through AVA's online feedback form at https://www.ifaq.gov.sg/ava/apps/feedback.aspx
What to do when there is a snake in the house?
- Resist the urge to attack it with a broom or stick. Do not confront the snake and keep your distance away from the snake. The snake may try to look for a dark and secure area and you should observe to see where it hides, so that it can be removed by professionals.
- Make sure that young children and pets like dogs or cats are kept away from the room or area where the snake is, as they may be curious and try to approach the snake.
- Close all doors in the room, except for those that lead to the outside like your balcony, patio or front doors. Sometimes the snake will look for an escape route and will use these openings.
- If the snake is in the garden, spray it gently with a water hose to send it on its way while keeping your distance. This will persuade the snake to leave the area. If you find a snake in your pool, you can use a long handled leaf skimmer to gently remove the snake, as it may not be able to get out on its own if it is small or exhausted from swimming.
- If the snake is in an open area like the floor and not moving much, the best thing to do is to place an object over it like a heavy blanket or towel. Hold the towel/blanket in front of you when approaching it, and then firmly cast it over the snake. The snake should immediately calm down and will feel secure if it cannot see what is going on outside the blanket. If possible, place heavy objects around the edge to prevent the snake from slipping out from underneath the towel/blanket and escaping. This will buy you some time to get help.
- If the snake is found in a drawer, behind furniture or somewhere difficult to access, leave it alone; move all family members away from the immediate area and, most of all, do not attempt to interact with it at all. Call for professional help. Have someone to keep an eye on the snake from a safe distance and note where it goes into hiding while you are contacting for help.
- Next, find out why the snake came to your area. Do you keep rodents or birds? Are there birds nesting in your garden, do you have a rodent problem in the house or garden? Some snakes prey on small mammals like rabbits, rats and cats, as well as birds and amphibians.
You can call AVA at 1800-476-1600 and ask them to send an expert to deal with the snake.
If you are interested to know more, please get a copy of the local guide book “Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Singapore’ published by the Singapore Science Centre.
Photos by Francis Lim, from A Guide to The Amphibians & Reptiles of Singapore (Singapore Science Centre)