SINGAPORE: While the sighting of potentially dangerous wild animals is not common in Singapore, one man had a stroke of luck when he encountered a perilous beauty while cycling in Pasir Ris Park.
A post shared in the Singapore Wildlife Sightings Facebook group on Sunday (8 Oct), by a member known as Mr Fernandez, immediately captured the attention of fellow netizens.
His gripping footage documented a tense face-off with a cobra.
In a comment posted under one of the posts, Mr Fernandez recounted the incident at Pasir Ris Park.
While cycling, he stumbled upon a small serpent right in the middle of the bicycle path.
Mr Fernandez quickly applied the brakes to avoid inadvertently harming the creature.
A genuine concern for the well-being of both the serpent and the park’s visitors led him to make an audacious attempt to gently coax the cobra away.
Cyclist’s intense encounter with cobra ends safely
The cobra, initially locking its mesmerizing gaze on the cyclist and flicking its forked tongue, ultimately retreated into the grass, seemingly ending the encounter.
However, in a subsequent video, Mr Fernandez decided to shadow the cobra briefly, which startled the reclusive snake, prompting it to confront the intruder with a dramatic display of a raised hood and a menacing gaze.
This nerve-wracking standoff reportedly lasted for 10 to 15 minutes before the cobra retreated further.
Concerns raised by group members over risky close encounter
The uploaded content drew concerns from online onlookers, as some suggested the Mr Fernandez had ventured perilously close to the venomous snake.
Several netizens, identifying the serpent, believed it to be a highly venomous equatorial black spitting cobra, which has a penchant for targeting the face when spitting venom, necessitating a safe distance of three to five meters.
Indigenous cobra species
ACRES, represented by Co-CEO Kalai Vanan Balakrishnan, told MSNews that he couldn’t confirm the specific sighting but identified the snake as the indigenous equatorial spitting cobra, common in Singapore.
The equatorial spitting cobra, known as the black spitting cobra in Singapore, is a snake frequently encountered in the lush suburbs and sometimes even in densely populated housing areas, as noted by Ecology Asia.
While these serpents typically opt for avoidance rather than confrontation and are not considered “aggressive,” larger adults may assume an intimidating posture by standing erect, expanding their hoods, and emitting a menacing hiss when they feel threatened.
Should their warning display fail to deter a perceived threat, these highly venomous snakes resort to a formidable defence mechanism by attempting to spray venom into the eyes of their aggressor.
This potent venom can reportedly reach a range of over one meter, underscoring the cobra’s capability to protect itself in its natural habitat.
Mr Kalai thus advised the public to maintain a safe distance when encountering such snakes, allowing them to safely navigate their path.
If anyone comes across distressed wildlife, he encourages them to contact ACRES’ hotline at 9783 7782 for assistance.
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