Golfer says he caught spitting cobra with bare hands, claims NParks staff confused how he did it

One golfer claimed he caught a spitting cobra with his bare hands, which he said left an NParks staff "surprised and confused" at how he managed to do so.
PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook/Matthew Lee

Most people, upon encountering a wild snake, will quickly move away and keep a safe distance from the animal. But that was not the case for one golfer who said he caught a "wild and angry" snake with just his bare hands.

In a Facebook post uploaded onto the group Singapore Wildlife Sightings on Wednesday (Oct 19) morning, the man – who goes by the name Matthew Lee on Facebook – said that he managed to catch an equatorial spitting cobra with his bare hands when it appeared at a golf course in Mandai.

Accompanying the post were two videos recorded by Lee after the ordeal, both of which depicted NParks staff who were there to bring the snake away.

According to the post, the cobra was "next to the frequently-used pavement" at the golf course.

He then decided to catch the snake, claiming that he had already known how to handle them as he used to be a "reptile fanatic" as a child.

When the NParks authorities arrived at the scene, Lee claimed that they were "extremely surprised and confused" as to how he managed to catch a wild snake without any equipment.

"They actually said that I should come work for them, that they could use someone like me," he said in the post.

Some netizens shared the same sentiment, calling the capture "impressive". One netizen even chipped in to say that it is a good life skill to have.

PHOTO: Facebook/Singapore Wildlife Sightings

Others were less amused, saying that Lee should not have handled the snake himself due to the snake's venomous nature and that he was "lucky" that the snake did not retaliate. 

PHOTO: Facebook/Singapore Wildlife Sightings
PHOTO: Facebook/Singapore Wildlife Sightings

In his Instagram account, Lee recounted that someone alerted him about a snake on the pathway and he only realised it was a spitting cobra after picking it up by hand.

He said he then placed the animal in a basket and waited for NParks to arrive.

Lee added that the aggressive snake managed to spit venom at him which got into his mouth, but he spat it out.

He later advised members of the public to not mess with snakes if they ever encounter one in the garden or park and that he only picked up that snake as that pathway is a busy one frequented by kids.

AsiaOne has reached out to Lee and NParks for comments.

According to NParks' wildlife database, the equatorial spitting cobra – scientifically known as the Naja sumatrana – is a highly venomous snake that is commonly spotted in scrublands and suburban areas in Singapore, and even sometimes enter houses.

On NParks' website, the public is also advised to observe snakes from a safe distance, calm down and slowly back away to give it space to retreat. Leave it alone if it is in its natural habitat, and do not approach or attempt to handle them as they might attack when disturbed or provoked.

If any assistance is required, please call NParks at 1800-476-1600.

ALSO READ: Man rescues snake in Singapore condo, only to get bitten by it

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