SINGAPORE — The Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) is appealing for eyewitness and any information regarding a disturbing incident involving a group of individuals attacking a protected species Reticulated python and then using a cleaver to chop off its head.

On Tuesday (18 Apr), ACRES received a screen-recorded video from a concerned member of the public showing a group of six individuals violently attacking a python at the bicycle stand of Boon Lay Place market.

The video shows a man and five others hitting the python repeatedly using crates while laughter can be heard in the background.

Laughter can be heard in the video as the male hits the python

A man’s voice can be heard saying in Mandarin, “It (the python) ran out of strength”, while another replied, “No, it is stronger than you!”

The video then shows a man in a black shirt carrying the python to the notice board area beside a food stall, where others can be heard clapping.

At the end of the video, the man used a cleaver to chop off the python’s head.

After receiving the video, ACRES immediately conducted investigations and interviews on-site on the following morning, 19 Apr.

The inquiry discovered that police cameras were present in the area and that a snake sighting had been reported at 1,30 am on Tuesday.

ACRES: shock and disturbance 

In the Facebook post, ACRES expressed their shock and disturbance at the celebratory tone and cheering of the individuals who inflicted suffering and death on a voiceless protected native species.

The organization also noted that despite many educational efforts, violence towards animals still persists in society.

“ACRES has submitted all the relevant information to National Parks Board(NParks), who is now investigating this further. ”

“Such incidents involving killing/hurting snakes have been happening repeatedly, and we hope that this case will result in prosecuting the individuals involved, serving a severe deterrence for the future of our animals in the community – whether a cute cuddly animal or a scaly reptile that many of us may be fearful of. ”

Protected species in Singapore

The Reticulated python is a protected species in Singapore, a non-venomous constrictor that is endemic to the country.

While occasionally seen in urban areas, they play an important role in controlling pests such as rodents. These creatures are typically shy and will not attack unless provoked or threatened.

It is worth noting that under the Animals and Birds Act, those found guilty of animal cruelty can face fines of up to S$15,000 and/ or imprisonment for up to 18 months.

According to NPark, Singapore is home to about 67 species of snakes.

They can range from the brahminy blind snake – one of the world’s smallest snakes at about 20cm long and often mistaken for an earthworm – to the reticulated python, which can grow to a length of more than 9m.

Members of public should keep their distance and call for professional help if they encounter snake species such as python. They will not attack unless disturbed or provoked.

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