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The Issue with Catchwaters




A large female White-lipped Pit Viper (Trimeresurus albolabris) was attempting to scale the 4 metre wall out of a catchwater by clinging onto the moss.


Catchwaters are vital for ensuring Hong Kong has its own stock of freshwater (albeit 60% supplied from China). To maximise yield and to minimise damage to the structure walls are scrubbed and debris are cleared away biannually. However, one thing that hasn’t been taken into consideration is what happens when animal fall in.. some animals are able to get out on their own, but a lot don’t get the choice and die in these basins.


A citizen suggestion was made to authorities about providing escape routes for wild animals but never got an answer, surprising really as carcasses are a great way of accumulating pathogens that leeches into the water we use on the daily (obviously the water is treated but requires more treatment) and any extra step to obtain the little natural resource HK gets whilst minimising conflict to wildlife should be a point of focus and concern.


The snake was searching for a path but went defensive whilst I took photos, she was hooked and released directly above.


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