Mumbai: Travancore wolf snake spotted for the first time in Chembur

Published: Dec 14, 2019, 20:25 IST | A correspondent |

The rescuers inspected the area where the snakes were last spotted and saw more than one snake hiding in a crack.

Travancore wolf snake
Travancore wolf snake

On 12th December 2019, Arbaaz Khan and Chandresh Choudhary who are rescuers and educators of SARRP NGO(Spreading awareness on reptiles and rehabilitation programme) received a call regarding a snake being spotted in a house around 5:00 pm in Gadkari(Chembur). When the rescuers reached the spot, the caller said that there were two snakes inside his house.

The rescuers inspected the area where the snakes were last spotted and saw more than one snake hiding in a crack. At first, both the rescuers were confused as the snakes were similar to a Common Krait according to the colouration (morph) as snakes were blackish in colour but as soon as the snakes were removed from their hiding spot by poking a thin stick, they noticed the bands and the body structure was similar to a Common wolf snake but the species rescued didn't seem like a Common wolf snake(Lycodon Aulicus) as the bands colour was yellowish.

They decided to confirm the id of the species by a senior rescuer and contacted Chaitanya Keer for the confirmation. He soon said that it didn't seem like a Common wolf snake for sure and guided the rescuers to do a scale count on the species rescued. The two rescuers then gathered information of the scale count of the Travancore wolf snake from Google and to their surprise, the scale count matched to Travancore wolf snake, a species which is not found in Mumbai. This is the first official record and sighting of this species in Mumbai. An intimation was given to the respected Forest Department official of the rescue.

There are several possibilities from where the species would have come. The rescuers stated that it might have either come from any truck or vehicle or else they might have come from the adjacent BARC reserve forest area as most of the area in BARC remains unexplored ... we don't know what all kind of reptiles can be found, as previously Arbaaz has rescued two Albino Wolf Snake and a couple of barred wolf snake which are rare to be seen. Also, because of the mating season of the snakes, it is quite a possibility for these snakes found in one house adjacent to a hilly dense forest area like BARC.

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