Mumbai: 3 pythons rescued from busy Kalanagar junction

Updated: Feb 03, 2020, 07:56 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav | Mumbai

NGO SARRP volunteers save the snakes spotted on Friday and Saturday nights

Three Indian Rock Pythons one 11.4 feet long, one 8 feet long and another measuring around 8 feet were rescued in two days
Three Indian Rock Pythons one 11.4 feet long, one 8 feet long and another measuring around 8 feet were rescued in two days

Workers at the flyover construction site in Bandra East got the shock of their lives when an unwanted guest slithered into view in the middle of their work. A frantic call was made to rescuers from an NGO, who promptly came to check and were surprised to find not one but three large Indian Rock Pythons bang in the middle of the T-junction on Sion Bandra link road.

Santosh Shinde, president of SARRP (Spreading Awareness on Reptiles and Rehabilitation Programe), told mid-day, "On Saturday and Friday nights, around 11.30 pm, our rescuers Adit Bhagwat and Sheldon D were summoned with distress phone calls informing about a huge snake in Bandra."

He added, "They rescued three Indian Rock Pythons — one 11.4 feet long, one 8 feet long and another measuring around 8 feet in two days. The Forest Department was also informed. The reptiles will be released into the wild after a medical examination," he said.

The group believes that the infrastructure projects have disturbed the flora and fauna in the areas, which it said could be one of the reasons why the snakes were found near the business district. The snake rescuers pointed out that there has been an increase in reptile rescue calls from Dharavi, Sion and BKC areas over the past few months and this can be attributed to the ongoing infrastructure work.

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"Pythons are commonly sighted along the Maharashtra Nature Park (MNP) belt in Sion, Dharavi and BKC areas, but recently the rescue calls for the reptile and other species entering human habitat have increased. We believe likely damage to their natural habitat has led to the spike in spotting of snakes. The ongoing development project work could also be responsible as it is believed to have disturbed quite a bit of flora and fauna in adjacent areas," Shinde said.

The volunteers of SARRP constantly hold awareness campaigns, talking to people and workers at construction sites. They explain to them the measures/steps that should be taken whenever a snake is spotted.

"We urge people not to kill or harm any snake/animal in case of such conflicts. We guide them to contact the Forest Department, SARRP helpline or experienced Wildlife Rescuers because it's important to save urban wildlife that helps in maintaining the ecological balance," said Chitra Pednekar, a volunteer with SARRP.

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