Date
21 September 2017
Central looks still and deserted during a heavy rain. Elsewhere, activity picks up -- not by people but snakes. Photo: AFP
Central looks still and deserted during a heavy rain. Elsewhere, activity picks up -- not by people but snakes. Photo: AFP

Snake! What’s the weather got to do with it?

Monday’s rainstorm did more than dump 30-50 millimeters of rain per hour — it flushed out snakes from hibernation.

Police fielded at least nine calls from frantic people after snakes were spotted in Quarry Bay, Central, Aberdeen, Tai Po, Ma On Shan, Tin Sum and Tseung Kwan O, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.

These included a python, a cobra and two bamboo vipers — all captured alive — but six others had slithered out of sight by the time police arrived.

Snake activity in Hong Kong typically increases during early March, around the time of Jingzhe (awakening of insects) when the weather warms up, Chow Kar-ling, owner of a famous snake restaurant, was quoted as saying.

However, Hong Kong’s cold weather was unusually long this year, extending the snakes’ hibernation until heavy rains forced them out.

Snakes become more active as the days grow warmer, so hikers should be on the lookout for them, Chow said.

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