Snakes Released in Buddhist Ritual Terrorize Guangzhou Residents

By Jocelyn Richards, July 6, 2017

1 0

Snake sightings are becoming a biweekly occurrence at one Guangzhou residential district, where two to three are spotted every month, according to a property management representative there.

Earlier this week, a video of a meter-long green snake slithering into a drain made the rounds on Chinese social media, where commenters took turns judging whether or not it was poisonous (the consensus was ‘not’). snake-liwan-guangzhou-gifAllegedly filmed outside of Nan’an Lu, a residential area in Liwan District that’s about a five-minute walk from the Pearl River, the video is but one of many recent sightings that have frightened local residents enough to keep them from venturing outside – especially at night.

According to Li, a property management representative at Nan’an Lu, there has been a sudden increase in snake sightings over the last few months, but none of those captured thus far have been poisonous – most are innocuous water snakes.

READ MORE: Venomous Snake Bites: What to Do When Disaster Strikes

snake-liwan-district-sighting

He says the snakes are either coming from the wild or from ‘mercy releases,’ an ancient practice in which Buddhists free captive animals to generate positive karma.

In Guangzhou, where snakes are a popular ingredient in Cantonese soups, ‘fang sheng’ (放生) or ‘mercy releases’ see groups of Buddhists buying snakes at local wet markets before setting them free in the Pearl River.

Li explains that such snakes often find their way back onto land, however, and gravitate towards green spaces in the city – usually verdant residential areas.

“I really don’t understand these people who buy snakes and set them free,” read a top-voted comment under the Tencent News article. “There are many ways to do good, but isn’t this destroying the ecological balance?”

Perhaps predictably, another netizen wanted to know if the snake was edible (“能吃不?”).

green-snake-sightings-guangzhou

To put residents at ease, Li claims his management team will actively address the problem. They have already placed snake repellent powder in the parking lot and outside various apartment buildings, and will post notices around the complex in the near future indicating which areas to avoid. 

Furthermore, Li says he hopes riverside Buddhist 'mercy releases' will be monitored more closely going forward.

READ MORE: Poisonous Snake Bites Toddler in Shenzhen

[Photos via Tencent News]

more news

‘Normalized’ COVID Testing Trialed in Guangzhou

The move is the first time 'normalized' testing has been used in Guangzhou and could signal a change in the country's COVID-19 prevention policy.

7 Awesome Things to Do This Week in Guangzhou

A selection of some of the best things to do in Guangzhou this week!

Guangzhou Flight Carrying 132 Crashes Into Guangxi Mountain

The plane went down in Guangxi Province.

WATCH: Heavy Rain Hits Guangdong

Heavy rain is expected to continue until May 13 in Guangdong and parts of neighbouring provinces.

Guangzhou Schools Close Due to Forecasted Rain

A forecast of heavy rain in Guangzhou over the next few days, despite the downpours being relatively mild, has forced the local government to suspend classes in schools and training centers.

WATCH: Guangdong’s Awe-Inspiring One-Legged Footballer

This one-legged footballer is better than we will ever be!

COVID Update: Cases Down in Guangzhou, One in Shenzhen

Guangzhou has seen a decrease in COVID-19 numbers for the second time this week, while Shenzhen reports 26 imported cases from Hong Kong.

A Change in Approach? Rapid Antigen Tests Being Used in Guangzhou

The use of RATs for COVID-19 could signal a change in the way the province handles mass testing.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives