Published: Wednesday September 5, 2012 MYT 11:53:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday September 5, 2012 MYT 11:55:49 AM
Threat to natural habitat forcing snakes into KL's residential areas
KUALA LUMPUR: Residential areas in Setapak, Cheras and Jinjang, which were all once oil palm plantations, have been identified as areas frequented by snakes, especially reticulated pythons and cobras, of late.
Kuala Lumpur Fire and Rescue Department director Khirudin Drahman said on average, three snakes were caught by the department every day, mostly from the three areas.
"We normally hear of snakes entering houses in rural areas, but urban areas are not spared anymore as rapid development in the capital is threatening the snakes' habitat," he said.
Khirudin said, however, there were no recent reports of residents in these areas being attacked or bitten by snakes.
"The loss of natural habitat is causing snakes to enter homes to look for food and seek shelter. They seek temporary refuge in damp places like drains.
"To keep snakes away from homes, residents must keep their compound clean, and free of rubbish and undergrowth," he added.
Khirudin said fire-fighters were trained to rescue snakes so that neither the reptiles nor fire-fighters were hurt in a rescue operation.
"A fire-fighter is required to undergo a two-day course at least once during his service to understand snake behaviour, characteristics and habitat, under the tutelage of trainers from snake parks.
"As reticulated or batik pythons and cobras are protected species, rescued snakes will be handed over to the Wildlife and National Parks Department to be released to their natural habitat in the jungle," he added. - Bernama