Hong Kong is dwelling to a wide range of snakes, from the venomous king cobra to bigger species just like the Burmese python.
HONG KONG – Hong Kong is dwelling to a wide range of snakes, from the venomous king cobra to bigger species just like the Burmese python. Each time certainly one of these reptiles is seen gliding right into a home or approaching alarmingly a residential space, Ken Lee is among the many snake hunters known as in to seize the creatures.
However not like the industrial snake hunters of yesteryear, whose catch is commonly served as soup on the town snake retailers, Lee does not promote the snakes he catches. He’s a part of a brand new era of snake hunters who’re striving to return reptiles to the wild.
“There are occasions when individuals have caught snakes earlier than I arrived on the scene, however sadly a few of them have been killed or fatally wounded,” stated Lee, 31, one of many youngest registered snake hunters in america. Hong Kong. “Some individuals bravely caught the snakes, however they really prompted hurt to wildlife.”
Like many different snake hunters on the town, Lee is self-taught. He started dealing with snakes on the age of 17, when he was working as an apprentice at a snake store in Hong Kong. His expertise prompted him to be taught extra about biodiversity and biology, and he ultimately went on to check that at a college in Taiwan.
When Lee catches snakes, he makes use of a wide range of tools: puncture-proof gloves, sticks, hooks, a flashlight, and baggage. Typically he even makes use of his personal arms.
In early December, he made headlines when he efficiently captured a Three-meter-long (10-foot-long) Burmese python in a village in rural Hong Kong. The identical month, Lee was additionally known as to a high-rise residential constructing in a rural space to seize a bamboo viper, a standard toxic inexperienced snake whose chunk could cause a nasty surf.
The snakes it catches are despatched to the Kadoorie Farm and Botanical Backyard, an area non-profit that homes rescued wild animals. After a well being test, many of the creatures are returned to native parks.
“I hope all these wild animals can return to the wild,” Lee stated.
At the moment, he works as a analysis assistant at 4 universities within the metropolis and is a volunteer on the Hong Kong Herpetological Society Basis, a non-profit group devoted to the examine of reptiles and amphibians.
Though Hong Kong has huge inexperienced areas that function totally different habitats for snakes, Liz Rose-Jeffreys, a conservation officer for Kadoorie Farm, believes that the town’s city growth could threaten the survival of snake species.
“I believe that is certainly one of mutual respect, actually. They’re our wild neighbors, they’ve been right here for much longer than we have now and I believe we have now an obligation to respect nature, “he stated. “They’re an necessary a part of our ecosystem, so if we have now to eradicate snakes, it will alter the stability that has been established for a few years.”