The snake was released in a nearby forested patch

A snake caused mild panic yesterday when it slithered into a flat on the third floor building of a Mulund West housing society and settled itself on a shoe rack. 

The flat's resident spotted the semi-venomous Forsten's cat snake nestled in the shoe rack and called NGO Plants and Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) for help.

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“We have rescued snakes from buildings several times in the past. They usually enter residential premises though drainage pipes. When we got the call on Monday, our volunteer, Tanmay Kolte, went to the spot and rescued the snake. The forest department was informed of it. It was later released into its natural habitat nearby,” said Sunish Subramanian Kanju, honorary wildlife warden of Mumbai and founder of PAWS.

The housing society is some 300 m from a forested patch.

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“Forsten's cat snakes usually hide in tree hollows and branches and hunt for prey on the ground at night. They feed on lizards, birds, rodents, frogs and other snakes as well as their eggs,” Kanju said.

It is not known how the 1-m-long snake entered the Mulund building's premises.