I was doing a photoshoot today at Punggol beach with Lara. Halfway through the shoot, we headed back to the car to change. I was leading the way and was already walking up the concrete stairs when I heard a hissing sound to the left of the stairs. And I saw this:

Instinctively, I backed off slowly. Lara, who was behind me, was unaware and wondered why I was going backwards. Then when I showed her, she startled. There was a guy standing at the top of the stairs talking on the phone and he too was shocked.

The black cobra “challenged” us for a good 3 minutes, giving me time to grab some shots. I fitted on my 80-200mm to get up close.

After a moment, it slithered away back into its underground nest.

This encounter was a very good lesson for me. When shooting in the wild, you never know what’s around you. In fact, when we went to our 2nd ‘wild location’ stop, a regular passer-by pointed to us of a hornets nest up on a tree. He warned that if those bugs get provoked, there is no escape.

Which makes me wonder: should I inform the authorities of these dangerous creatures? Then a question comes to mind: who are the intruders?

Another event also occurred while photo-shooting at the beach. While doing our 1st attire change, a crow-culling van drove in. The bird-shooter waved at us that he’s going to shoot at the crows so warned us of the loud sounds. Without missing a beat, he got down to work. He fired about 8 shots, managed to hit 6 crows. Lara was appalled at why the crows are being culled, and I briefly explained to her that it was to control the crow population and prevent them from polluting the environment through the droppings and to some extent bird-flu. She was not aware how crows are a menace in housing estates, often loitering around carparks or void decks, fighting for food and sometimes even attack passers-by.

The lesson here is that: every living thing is part of Earth’s ecology. But sadly, it is the human species, the only species, that is destroying the balance. And you cannot blame all other ecological entities from trying to re-balance from the human activities. Some ‘re-balancing’ activities include: becoming more aggressive to find food for survival (e.g. wild monkeys in Nature Reserves), changes in climate.

Again, my message here is not to say who’s right or wrong, but to realise that every action has its consequences that we all have to accept, rather than pushing the blame on some other (in fact, any other) species for which they have no way to argue back. Animal attorney, anyone?

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