Rattled snake: Photographer caught on video hitting snake

Rattled snake: Photographer caught on video hitting snake
PHOTO: Kennie Pan Photography Facebook

Moving wild animals from their habitat for a photography session is frowned upon by nature lovers and professional photographers.

But that's what a group of photography enthusiasts did to a venomous snake. They even hit the reptile on the head.

Their foolhardy act was filmed and posted online.

It resulted in criticism from the public.

Last Monday, a 23-second video showing a group of photographers snapping photos of a snake at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve was uploaded on Facebook.

It shows a man and a woman, believed to be part of a larger group, taking photos of a green snake coiled around a branch.

The man snaps five photos, with his camera flash on and his lens just centimetres away from the head of the snake.

The group speaks in Mandarin, discussing the camera angle and how to take the photo.

Towards the end of the video, the man picks up a stick from the ground and hits the snake on the head before moving away.

Comments on the video identify it as a pit viper, a snake species which can kill humans with its venom.

Mr Kennie Pan, 25, a wildlife photographer who uploaded the video, said the snake had been moved from its original spot by the group.

He told The New Paper he had been in the same area a few days before, on July 18.

He said: "I couldn't get good shots of it. So I decided to leave it and come back the next day to hopefully find it in a better position."

Puzzled

But the next day, he could not find it. This puzzled him as such snakes do not go very far. He said they usually only move higher up the trees.

He then bumped into his friend who jogs in the area frequently, and was told that the snake had been moved by a group of photographers.

Said Mr Pan: "He showed me a video he took of them, and it was very upsetting. They moved it about 5m away, and (looking at the video), it was clearly disturbed."

Mr Pan uploaded the video on his Facebook page and as of yesterday, it had been shared 370 times.

One of the shares was by the Herpetological Society of Singapore (HSS), which condemned the actions of the people in the video.

HSS is a group of enthusiasts who photograph snakes in Singapore.

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