Saving Snakes in Storms


  • Rob and Adam go on a snake search hoping for a break in the constant rain
  • After a long hike, no snakes and a lot of rain they take a final look up by a big conduit and find one of Hong Kong's fastest snakes
  • After determining the snake was stranded Adam and Rob find a way to perform a rescue

The rain just would not stop. It had been the better part of a week with no break in sight and Rob and Adam had decided to gear up and brave the weather in hopes of a window of sunshine that might draw the snakes out.

Rob arranged the location, one of his favorites for hiking and a known hot spot for certain species. The walk was beautiful winding through the forest and despite not being too happy about the precipitation both were pleased to see that the extra water created loads of mini streams and clear water pools adding to the already fantastic scenery. The enjoyment was short lived unfortunately as the sky opened up on the walk back toward the car making snaking virtually impossible, but just as the hike was about to come to an end the rain stopped and Rob thought it would be a good idea to check a nearby water culvert before heading out.

Good thing they did as after a short walk they noticed a Copperhead Racer - Coelognathus radiatus stuck on a ledge above a fast flowing and very full large water culvert.

The area around the Racer was completely devoid of branches and the walls were steep and smooth so it stood to reason that the Racer had been swept down the culvert and managed to gain purchase on this small exposed ledge to get out of the water.

People have different views on human intervention with nature but given that it was a man made object that caused the snake to become stranded Adam and Rob decided to see if they could find a way to safely extract the snake. After some back and forth they figured out a way to pull out the snake without putting anyone in danger and because the snake was quite cold from its time in the water it was very compliant during extraction.

Thankfully the Racer was in great shape and quite healthy.

As you can see Copperhead Racers have very distinct markings with copper and brownish tones highly contrasted with well defined black markings forming straps around the head and long lateral bands down the first half of the body. They are also very fast and capable of a number of defensive tactics including puffing up their neck to look larger and playing dead by flopping on their backs and opening their mounts. This specimen was no exception putting on a nice show before and after the photo shoot.

Rob and Adam were happy to be able to save this otherwise healthy snake but it should be emphasized that the extraction was done in a way that was safe for both the snake and the snake catchers and no one should ever attempt to do so themselves.

For more great pictures of this Copperhead Racer check out the gallery in the full write up on the Copperhead Racer page of or check us out on YouTube and Instagram.

If you enjoyed this post please share with anyone you think might like to read about our adventures and feel free to leave a comment if you have thoughts or ideas on this or future posts.

As always the opinions included here are solely those of the author(s). You should never handle or approach a snake in the wild and if you are bitten contact emergency services at '999' immediately. See our Practical Venomous Snake ID Guide if you plan to be out and about with nature in Hong Kong, and scroll through the page to obtain more advice on what to do if you are bitten as well as for snake removal services.