News

So angry, she rushes home to 'kill it'

Reptiles turning up in the oddest places

When the pest controllers called yesterday evening to say that the snake had been caught, housewife Noraslinda Asat told them to stay put till she rushed home.

She wanted to see the creature, which has haunted her for more than a week.

Madam Noraslinda, 34, had murderous thoughts when she saw the 3m-long creature that had bitten her when she was on the toilet on May 1.

The resident of the first storey of Block 826, Eunosville, at Sims Avenue was taken to hospital and given an injection after she was bitten.

The snake was still alive, but weak and unconscious when caught.

"I wanted to kill it. I was so angry with the snake," Madam Noraslinda said. "Why did it come out of nowhere and end up in my toilet?".

Madam Noraslinda, who grabbed the snake's head when she was bitten, wanted to make sure it was the same reptile.

"I recognised it although I saw only half of its body the last time. The colour is the same," she said.

It had previously been estimated to be 1.8m long, but pest controllers found it was much longer when they finally caught it around 5pm.

It was discovered in a manhole outside Madam Noraslinda's unit, the same one where it was found the day she was bitten, before it slithered away.

Her husband, Mr Mohammad Fitri Kassim, 34, who is self-employed, was informed by the condo management that PUB officials wanted to check the manhole yesterday after reading about the incident. The New Paper had reported the news on Thursday.

Mr Fitri added that the management had been pumping the manhole with sulphur every two days after they reported the incident.

"One week later, we thought the snake might have died but it was still alive, at the same spot. It's not just us, but the entire estate is now satisfied that it has been caught," he said.

His mother, Madam Fatimah Bee, 66, who lives with them, was at the scene when the snake was captured.

She, too, was finally appeased.

Madam Fatimah had seen the head of the snake in another toilet in the flat but nobody believed her at first.

Madam Noraslinda also took her four-year-old daughter Adriana along to witness the capture of the snake.

The little girl had seen the shadow of the snake through the foldable plastic door of the bathroom on the day it bit her mother.

"I told her it's dead so she won't be scared anymore. She doesn't even dare to touch the toilet seat now.

"I told her it's okay to use the toilet again, but she told me, 'Mama, why don't you use the toilet first?'" said Madam Noraslinda, with a laugh.

The mother and daughter have been avoiding that toilet for the past week.

And Madam Noraslinda may not be going back to using it right away.

Shuddering, she said: "The pest controllers told me not to be too brave. There might still be a smaller one around."

So big, neighbours thought it was komodo

The reptile, which measured about a metre long, hung perfectly still above his neighbour's gate.

Mr Ganwani Lachman, 58, a sales manager, thought it was fake when he saw it around 1.30pm on Tuesday. "It didn't look real to me at first. It looked like a dummy", he told The New Paper.

Nevertheless, it attracted a lot of attention from 15 to 20 neighbours, who gathered excitedly outside the first-storey unit of Block 425, Canberra Road in Sembawang.

One of them even thought the reptile, a monitor lizard, was a komodo dragon.

Mr Lachman, who was on his way to lunch with his wife, snapped a few photos of the lizard, then left.

When they arrived home later around 7pm, the lizard was gone.

At about 8pm, Mrs Sirya Lachman, also 58, went to the rubbish chute outside their eighth-storey flat.

On her way back, the businesswoman noticed another crowd of 20 to 25 people gathered downstairs.

The lizard was back and had made itself comfortable on the gate of the unit next to where it was first spotted.

About 20 to 25 minutes later, officers from the Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (Acres) arrived to take the reptile away. Acres said the lizard was a clouded monitor lizard, one of two species commonly found in Singapore.

It does not pose any danger unless provoked and, while it is carnivorous, feeds on only dead animal matter and the occasional small bird or egg.

If threatened, it may turn aggressive and whip its tail at attackers. It has also been known to bite if intimidated.