Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN)Ghufron Arifuddin’s New Year resolution is to clean up the garbage that blights his backyard and neighborhood in Jakarta.
The reason? Snakes.
Twice in the past four months he has found the creatures slithering around in the backyard of his home in East Jakarta, most recently on New Year’s Eve when he discovered a 1.5 meter-long (five foot) venomous cobra.
“I was so startled,” said Arifuddin, 49, adding that he never saw snakes when he first moved in several years ago.
Snake encounters in the Indonesian capital are becoming more commonplace for several reasons, experts say. Natural habitats are dwindling as Indonesia urbanizes, while poor trash disposal in the sprawling city of 9.5 million means snakes and people are finding themselves in closer contact than ever before.