New Delhi, May 26 (IANS): With mercury continuing to rise across Delhi-NCR, snakes, that are coming out of their burrows and pits to take shelter in places such as gardens, kitchens and even hostels, have kept the rescue teams busy through this week.
A rare Buff Striped Keelback, an adult cobra, two baby cobras, and a rat snake were among those reptiles rescued by the team of Wildlife SOS, a non-profit engaged in rescue and rehabilitation of wild animals in distress.
Wasim Akram, Deputy Director, Special Projects, Wildlife SOS, said: "Snakes are ecto-thermic animals and cannot regulate their internal body temperature. Hence, on excessively hot days, they come out of their pits in search of cooler, shaded places to take shelter."
In what was a busy start to the week, residents of a South Motibagh complex, near Sadhu Vaswani International School for Girls, came across a Buff Striped Keelback snake in their garden and immediately alerted the Wildlife SOS team on its 24-hour rescue helpline (91 9871963535).
The Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit reached the location, safely extricated the non-venomous snake and transferred it to a rescue facility. The snake is currently under observation and will soon be released back into its natural habitat.
The snake (Amphiesma stolata) is a mid-sized reptile growing up to 80 cm but mostly found under lengths of 60 cm. Its colour ranges from olive-brown to gray and has keeled scales on the dorsal surface of the body. Distinct features of this snake are the two yellow stripes along the length and to the sides of the spine. It is a widely distributed non-venomous snake across Asia and Southeast Asia but is rarely seen.
In another incident, an Indian Cobra was seen coiled on top of an LPG gas cylinder in the kitchen at the Indiabulls Centrum Park campus in Gurugram's Sector 103. The Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit immediately reached the location and, following all safety precautions, carefully extricated the snake.
The NGO also rescued two baby cobras, one from a hostel at Jawaharlal Nehru University and the other from a park in Mayur Vihar Phase I. The rescue of a 5-foot-long rat snake from near a dustbin in Dwarka sector 14 rounded off the busy week.
Geeta Seshamani, co-founder and secretary Wildlife SOS, said: "Wild animals enter urban settlements when their habitat is disturbed or encroached upon by rampant development, forcing them to seek refuge in human habitation. Our team is extremely well-trained in handling such delicate operations, and making sure that the snakes are rescued without causing any harm."