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Python could have been finding way out

Miss Anbarasi Boopal, 31, Acres' group director of wildlife, said it's rare for a python to be in residential areas, and that Acres sees about one a year.

Pythons are usually seen in canals as their diet is mostly made up of rats, she said.

She added: "Pythons are very shy of people and will go into hiding when they see them."

Mr Azlam Shah, 33, manager at pest control company Clean Solutions, said he has never encountered a case of a snake in a toilet bowl, but has found them in homes before.

"Mostly we attend to cases of pythons. In this case a 1.8m-long python is quite big," said Mr Azlam. His previous cases involved pythons about half-a-metre long.

"In a year, we will encounter around three cases where snakes are found inside a house," said Mr Azlam.

Since the python in this case appeared in a toilet bowl, Mr Azlam believes that it may have gotten lost while finding a way out.

ENTRY THROUGH BROKEN PIPES?

Mr Ricky Tan, 59, treasurer of the Singapore Plumbing Society, said: "Snakes like to go into holes, so they will enter holes of underground pipes that are broken or damaged.

"They will make their way through the pipes and into drainage pipes, which will lead to toilet bowls."

He has been a plumber for close to 40 years and has seen around 10 cases of snakes in toilet bowls.

Pythons are generally defensive by nature, but may attack when provoked, said Mr Azlam.

"Depending on whether they have been fed or are being provoked, their level of aggressiveness varies," he added.

Pythons that have just been fed tend to coil up and not move around.

If you encounter a python, call a pest control company immediately.

Mr Azlam had this advice: "If you are trying to get it off you after being bitten, make sure they don't coil onto any of your body parts, if not they will squeeze until your blood cannot circulate. Get someone to pull and hold on to the tail.

"It may not let go easily, so try to force it to open its mouth. But remember to hold on to the head so that it will not bite another body part."