Woman bitten by 3m-long snake at HDB corridor
Sembawang resident flees, leaving trail of blood after python bites her on left leg
An early morning search for a missing cat left a woman with a bloody bite and needing stitches.
Mrs Chan Yin Ha was looking for her cat on the second storey of her Housing Board block in Sembawang Drive on Tuesday.
As she searched among some potted plants at around 4am, she suddenly felt a sharp pain on her left leg. Thinking her cat had scratched her, she kicked out and looked down.
It was then that she saw a 3m-long python had bitten her.
The 42-year-old, who is afraid of snakes, told The Straits Times on Wednesday that she "freaked out".
"I thought it would coil around me," she said, adding that she immediately ran away.
Mrs Chan went to a neighbour's flat for help but nobody came to the door. She then returned to her third storey flat, bleeding profusely. Family members washed her wounds and called for an ambulance. The Singapore Civil Defence Force said it received the call for assistance at 4.04am.
Mrs Chan's neighbour on the second storey eventually opened the door and found a slipper at the doorstep as well as a trail of blood along the corridor, Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported.
Suspecting a fight, the neighbour called the police, who followed the blood trail to Mrs Chan's flat. The police then called a pest controller.
According to Wanbao, the python retreated into a water pipe. The pest control officers poured hot water into the pipe, forcing the reptile to flee into a drain on the ground floor of the HDB block, where it was caught.
Mrs Chan, a store assistant, said she was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where she received stitches and was placed under observation. She was given four days' medical leave.
Mr Kalai Vanan Balakrishnan, deputy chief executive of the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres), said Mrs Chan's encounter was "an unfortunate freak incident".
He added that the python had probably been waiting to ambush small prey, like rats, when it bit Mrs Chan.
If you are bitten by a snake, stay calm and seek medical help. Take note of its size and colour, as identifying it will help determine the treatment needed.
For assistance, call Acres' 24-hour wildlife rescue hotline on 9783-7782. - ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY TOH TING WEI
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