Mumbai witnesses rise in number of snake rescue cases post heavy rains

Updated: Aug 01, 2019, 17:13 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

Of total 200 snakes rescued from the eastern and western peripheries of SGNP, Indian rock python tops the list with over 40 cases

Mumbai witnesses rise in number of snake rescue cases post heavy rains
Herpetologists say the overflowing streams inside SGNP displace the snakes and lead to increased encounters with humans

With the rains making a powerful comeback after a brief dry spell, the city witnessed a rise in the number of snake rescue cases over the past one month. The NGOs working in the eastern and western suburbs have rescued more than 200 snakes, which include over 40 Indian rock pythons — a number quite unusual for July, according to them.

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However, herpetologists are of the opinion that the overflowing streams inside Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) displace the snakes and lead to increased encounters with humans.

Members of NGO SARRP told mid-day that in the past one month they have rescued 20 Indian rock pythons from the areas on the western periphery of SGNP.

Speaking to mid-day, president of NGO SARRP, Santosh Shinde, said, "July has seen an increase in rainfall as compared to June. We have been getting several snake rescue calls. In July itself we rescued 230 snakes and reptiles. With a total of 20 rescues, the Indian rock python tops the list. The number is quite high as per previous records."

Meanwhile, NGO RAWW has rescued 22 rock pythons from areas in the eastern suburbs, which include Mulund, Bhandup, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli, Thane and Kalyan.

Pawan Sharma from NGO RAWW, said, "Most of the rescued snakes were healthy. They were released in their natural habitat in coordination with the forest department.

Indian rock python is the only protected species of snakes native to Mumbai. It is protected under Schedule 1 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Such good numbers indicate a healthy population which reflects the need to conduct scientific studies that will help in conservation efforts."

Also Read: Boy bit by snake in Vasai, hospital's prompt treatment saves life

Experts speak

Herpetologist Kedar Bhide, said, "It's a very common phenomenon during monsoon. As water flows out of SGNP, the snakes get displaced. Most of them are rescued from Dahisar, Daulat Nagar, Aarey Colony, Malad and Goregaon on the western periphery of the park."


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Adding to this, Herpetologist Dr Varad Giri, said, "The reason behind the increase in the number rock pythons being rescued is maybe because during this season they move out to hunt and get displaced, leading to increased encounters with humans."

No. of rock pythons rescued from SGNP's western periphery

No. of rock pythons rescued from SGNP's eastern periphery

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