June 17, 2012

The Death of a Tree Snake

The other day I managed to catch some local neighbourhood action with camera in hand. As the boys and I drove by on our scooter, a neighbour friend beckoned me over to see an "ular" or snake, that was hang off a branch up a tree.

As the Island of Java is very populated, any animal or reptile that could even be remotely dangerous (and doesn't have a secondary use) is at a disadvantage. A lot of larger animal species were eradicated many years ago. All I had been told about these small green snakes in trees is that they are poisonous. How poisonous? Well, as far as I could tell through a not-so-extensive online investigation, they're "mildly" poisonous, far from being a real danger to humans. They usually eat small frogs, geckos, skinks, and probably insects.

The evening before, they had shot three of the same snakes out of another tree further down the street. 
But, they are "a danger", and I assume the locals obviously have some experience to back up being afraid of them. I honestly wouldn't want it hanging off a tree in my yard. So, it didn't take long and in came the troops! The older fellow grabbed a bamboo pole, as the snake was in his backyard. (You can see Simon was enjoying the excitement).

Below is the last few moments of this snakes life as he/she is being brought down for a beating.

Dead snake!

Time to go burn it. Afterwards, my other neighbour was joking with me & asked if I was going to come back when dinner was ready....Ular goreng = Fried snake! Yum. But I think I'll stick to rice and chicken.
I also read on the net how in one area of Central Java they've band the killing of all types of snakes. The main reason for this was restoring some natural balance and control the rat population, and, it worked! At the same time, I can understand that when there are vipers and cobras, people react defensively.

Speaking of rats, I killed a biggie last night! Happy father's Day to me! I think it's the same one that has eluded my traps for quite sometime. I'll be taking it to the local taxidermy and will be having it stuffed and mounted in a ferocious stance, and when visitors stop by I'll tell extravagant tails of adventure & intrigue.

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