When the monsoons hit the city, the Wildlife SOS rapid response unit knows they’re in for a hectic month full of snake rescues as the reptiles struggle to find shelter in the urban jungle they live in. The Wildlife SOS rescue helpline (9871963535) rings off-the-hook with concerned people alerting the organization to snakes trapped in their homes, offices and sometimes in the unlikeliest of places. This monsoon has been no different, and judging by the rescue log, Delhi University has had a significant number of serpentine visitors come in along with the recent batch of juniors admitted this year!
We started off with a beautiful Royal Snake, also known as a diadem snake, which had managed to get intricately entangled with the wires in an electricity box in South Campus. The nonvenomous snake was gently and carefully disentangled from the crisscrossing wires in the box, and had suffered a few minor injuries as a result of its ordeal.
Following quick on the heels of the previous rescue, a cobra was picked up from the football stadium in front of Shivaji College, just a day later! The poor snake had gotten inextricably stuck in the netting of the football goalpost, and had managed to get quite cut up while trying to escape. The venomous reptile was severely traumatised by the time someone discovered it and called the Wildlife SOS rescue team. The team acted quickly, and cut the netting open to allow the snake to be freed. It was observed to have a number of superficial wounds on its body, and so was taken to our rescue centre for treatment and observation.
Another royal snake cropped up a few days later, this time in the storage facility of the Khalsa College canteen. A staff member found the snake curled up amidst the food cartons in the storage, and a quick-thinking student called up our helpline number so that a team could be dispatched. The snake was thankfully unhurt and the rescue could be carried out quickly and efficiently, much to the relief of everyone at the canteen.
The latest rescue was that of a four-foot long rat snake, rescued from the Undergraduate Girls Hostel in North Campus. The snake had probably snuck into the hostel during the night, and was found hiding in the floorbed the next morning, after a startled hosteller chanced upon it, and after beating a quick retreat from the hostel lobby, called our helpline. The snake caused quite a stir among the residents of the hostel, but according to one of the students, the initial fear turned to fascination once the rescue team assured them the snake was nonvenomous and completely harmless to them, and told them a little bit more about the intriguing reptile and other snakes in India.
All the snakes were kept under observation for a few days following their rescue, and were released back into their natural habitats once deemed fit.
If you observe a snake in distress in the city, do not hesitate to alert our team at 9871963535. Don’t panic, nearly all the snakes found in Delhi NCT are nonvenomous, and none will harm you if they are not interfered with or feel cornered or threatened. That said, call the rescue team immediately, and never try to handle the reptile yourself.