Friday, September 23, 2011

Why Kill a Harmless Flying Snake?

I had gone out of town for a while and when I returned, I was greeted with probably the worst thing I wanted to see- A DEAD SNAKE!!!! I looked into the bucket in which a neighbour placed the snake after killing it. Upon seeing it, I got into a fit of fury. I was mad angry at the neighbour, for what he killed was a HARMLESS and BEAUTIFUL FLYING TREE SNAKE!!!

It was such a gorgeous snake, with an incredible ability of gliding from tree to tree, hence called 'flying snake'. I had spotted and photographed a similar species in Singapore. But why the hell did it have to be killed? I questioned my neighbour sternly and he said that he had no idea what snake it was as he had never seen one like that before, and that the red spots that occurred along its body gave him the idea that it was venomous. He admitted trying to catch the snake into a tube, but failed, and therefore killed the snake, not wanting it to escape and possibly hurt anyone. Well, that's what everyone says here: 'I thought it was venomous so I killed it.' A perfect excuse, except that it brings no cure to the dead snakes.

I returned to the snake and took several photographs. It seemed more beautiful and elegant than the previous sub-species I spotted in Singapore. I think I'm right in identifying it as an Ornate Flying Tree Snake, as this species is known to be common in India. However, I never knew the species existed here. The first time it showed up proved to be its last.

Here's a shot of the flattened body, which I gently pressed down to observe and take a photograph. These snakes 'fly' be flattening their body, similar to the shape of a Frisbee, allowing them to glide through the air.

I took the poor snake and buried it in my backyard. I can't even recall how many dead snakes I've already buried in these yards.


Vera said...

flying snake... I hate people when I see smth like this!
How can anyone kill an innocent snake???
You have a kind heart! I,m glad that still there are people who aren,t cruel :)

john said...

Shawn I did a little research in my one booklet of the snakes of Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. It also has reference notes about India, and the rest of Southeast Asia.
The common flying snake of the area, (and the one you probably saw in Singapore) is called Golden tree Snake,(chrysopeplea ornata) in my book.
The uncommon snake, and the dead one in question is probably the, Paradise Tree Snake,(chrysopeplea paradisi). It is the one with the beautiful red markings
Common english snake names vary from region to region. The latin names are what counts. I hope you find a live paradisi someday.
Do you ever skin the dead snakes you find? When I was young I had a good collection of reference skins from dead snakes I found. You can keep the skins more pliable by rubbing the stretched skin with glycerin.

Shawn said...

Thanks John and Vera!

John, the ones I saw in Singapore were Paradise Tree Snakes (chrysopeplea paradisi). They are the most common flying snakes in Singapore. But the Golden Tree Snake does not exist in Singapore. I'm not particularly sure what species this exactly is. It could be a golden or paradise tree snake.

Vera, I hate them too, in fact I was really angry when I saw the dead snake! The problem is, there aren't much people like me here.

adrielleroyale said...

It really was a beautiful snake - and I don't say that too often! Such a kindhearted one you are!

Sverker said...

Sad to see this kind of thing, I often get the impression that some people see nature as something to be mastered and conquered rather than experienced and treasured. And when people see nature that way anything that can be perceived as a threat has to be destroyed... Sad.

Shawn said...

Thanks Adrielle and Sverker.

Sverker, I totally agree with you. There are people like you have described, with only one thing in mind- to outdo or eliminate all other species. Their attitude seriously need to change.


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