The discovery of a venomous snake near a fitness corner in Bukit Panjang has sparked concerns about public safety, especially in areas frequented by children.
Facebook user Jonathon Lam, who came across the snake while his child was playing, shared the sighting on the Facebook group Singapore Wildlife Sightings, expressing relief at spotting the reptile before any potential harm occurred.
The identified snake, a Wagler’s pit viper, has raised awareness about the presence of venomous species in public spaces.
Snake Sighting at Fitness Corner
On Saturday, January 20, Facebook user Jonathon posted in the Singapore Wildlife Sightings group about encountering a snake near a fitness corner in an HDB estate in Senja, Bukit Panjang.
The green serpent was observed resting on a metal sign, and its distinctive features included a diamond-shaped head with a red line along its sides, along with red and yellow spots adorning its emerald-colored body.
Jonathon, who was with his child at the time, expressed relief at discovering the snake before any potential danger to his child. However, the encounter raised concerns about the presence of venomous snakes in public spaces, particularly those frequented by children and families.
Unable to identify the snake himself, Jonathon sought assistance from other Facebook users. The online community swiftly identified the snake as a Wagler’s pit viper, a venomous species known for its distinctive coloration and potentially harmful bite.
Identification of the Snake
The Wagler’s pit viper, scientifically known as Tropidolaemus wagleri, is a venomous snake species native to Southeast Asia, commonly found in countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand. Here are some key characteristics and information about the Wagler’s pit viper:
- The Wagler’s pit viper is renowned for its striking and vibrant coloration. Typically, it features a bright green hue with a series of red or yellow spots along its body.
- It possesses a distinctive diamond-shaped head, which is a common trait among pit vipers.
- The body is relatively stout, and the snake can grow to a moderate size, with adults reaching lengths of around 70 to 90 centimeters.
- These vipers inhabit a variety of environments, including forests, jungles, and wooded areas. They are often found near streams or water sources.
- Wagler’s pit vipers are skilled climbers and may be observed in trees, using their prehensile tail for support.
- The snake is venomous, and its bite can be harmful to humans. While fatalities are rare, envenomation can cause local swelling, pain, and, in severe cases, systemic effects.
- The venom primarily serves for subduing prey, which consists mainly of small mammals and birds.
- Wagler’s pit vipers are primarily nocturnal, being more active during the night. This behavior helps them avoid daytime predators and hunt more effectively in low-light conditions.
- They are known to be relatively calm and may remain motionless for extended periods, relying on their cryptic coloration to blend into the surroundings.
- Like many snake species, Wagler’s pit vipers are ovoviviparous, meaning they give birth to live young. The female retains and incubates the eggs inside her body until they hatch, and then she gives birth to fully formed offspring.
- Conservation Status:
- The conservation status of Wagler’s pit viper is generally stable. While they are not currently considered threatened, habitat loss and fragmentation could pose potential risks to their populations.
- Interaction with Humans:
- Encounters with Wagler’s pit vipers in urban or populated areas are relatively uncommon. However, when spotted, caution should be exercised due to their venomous nature.
- As in the case mentioned earlier, awareness and reporting to relevant authorities are crucial for public safety.
Image source: Jonathon Lam on Facebook and Google Maps