MEERUT A rare Indian egg-eater snake (elachistodon westermanni) was rescued from a house in Kalagarh area on Wednesday and released in its habitat in the jungle.
Kalagarh is situated on the border of Bijnor district and Jim Corbet National Park in Uttarakhand. Deepak Kumar, the man who rescued the snake, has been working as snake rescuer in the park since the past two years. He is part of Kalagarh forest department rapid response team for rescuing trapped snakes.
Deepak said he received a call from a colony in Kalagarh on Wednesday about a snake in a house. “I rushed to the house and caught a 6-inch snake”, said Deepak on phone and added shared that “ it was a different snake”.
Deepak shared that he had been rescuing snakes for several years , so he knew about them. “Initially, I thought it was a Prinked snake but was elated to finally discover that it was a rare Indian egg- eater snake, which was not seen for decades and considered extinct. “
Deepak said that it was a 6-inche juvenile with a yellow line from head to tail and he identified it by its characteristic of lifting its upper side high and making a shape of S after observing a threat to life. Besides, this snake also shakes its tail fast under threat. Prinked snakes also behaves in a similar way but the rescued snake was different in look was identified as Indian egg- eater.
This snake is non venomous and feeds on birds’ eggs.
Vinod Rishi, former additional director general ( ADG) of Wildlife, Government of India, said that it was a rare species which lived in tree holes, rock crevices, or bushes in dry deciduous and shrub forests. He said, “A close examination of photographs reveals that the rescued juvenile snake could be a rare Indian egg- eater and its discovery needs to be further explored to ensure its presence in the area”.
Deepak claimed that the juvenile’s colour would change into black but the yellow line would remain from head to tail. He said that cobra, karait and other snakes also ate birds’ eggs along with rodents like rats and frogs. But Indian egg-eater fed only on birds’ eggs. He said that these snakes broke the egg inside their throat and spat out the skin after swallowing the fluids.
Jim Corbet National Park’s warden R K Tiwari said, “We are excited by the discovery of this snake as the species was not seen in the area for quite a long time”. According to wildlife experts, Indian egg-eater snake has been listed in Schedule 1 of Wildife Protection Act-1972 because the species is rare.
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