SINGAPORE: The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said on Tuesday night (Jan 29) that it was investigating the alleged mishandling of a snake at Tang Plaza.
Photos and videos of the python lurking outside the building along busy Orchard Road were circulated on social media earlier that day.
In footage uploaded by Facebook user Tess Fernando, the python, which looked to be about 3m long, was partially coiled up behind a recycling bin.
Another video put up by user Rabbikhan Khan showed four men attempting to capture the python.
In the two-minute video, the python was seen biting the hand of one of the men, which appeared gloved. The man, who was wearing a shirt bearing the word "Anticimex", later stepped on the python as it struggled.
AVA said the python was removed and handed to Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
"Cruelty to animals is an offence under the Animals and Birds Act. AVA has issued a set of guidelines on the proper handling of snakes to all pest control and wildlife management agencies in Singapore," the authority said.
"For example, snakes should not be unduly harmed by the persons handling it and appropriate equipment should be used to catch them.
"AVA investigates all feedback relating to animal cruelty and will not hesitate to take enforcement action against offenders," it added.
The authority also advised members of the public not to approach, disturb, feed or try to catch wildlife, including snakes. They should keep a safe distance from them and ensure that children and pets are also kept away, it said.