Throughout the year, our Rapid Response Units are hard at work responding to distress calls from across the country. The month of September was no different. From snake sightings to bird rescue calls — the Wildlife SOS helplines were quick to relay these to our on-the-go units who rescue animals from the most unusual places! Here’s a recap of all the rescues made in September from Delhi NCR, Agra and Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, Vadodara in Gujarat, and Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir
Our team based out of Jammu and Kashmir rescued a total of 17 animals, most of them being snakes! In a completely unexpected turn of events, a wedding function in Srinagar played host to an unannounced guest — a venomous Levantine viper! The three-foot-long snake was sighted by the host family when it was coiled amidst a pile of wooden logs, and this caused panic among the crowd. Exercising extreme caution, the team extricated the venomous snake and safely transferred it to a transport carrier.
The team rescued another Levantine viper that was spotted resting on a tin roof of a storehouse inside the cantonment area. Rescuers continued the flurry of rescues with a five-foot-long Himalayan Trinket snake which was found behind the refrigerator of a house in the Nishat area of Jammu.
Our team also rescued two mildly venomous Eastern Cliff racer snakes on separate occasions. The juvenile snakes were safely extricated from residences in the Rainawari locality of Srinagar, the capital city of Jammu and Kashmir. All the rescued snakes were found to be healthy by the veterinary team and were released back into their natural habitat.
Besides the snakes, our Rapid Response Unit also responded to calls of a Barn owl and a Black kite in Srinagar during September. The birds were found injured and are still under our care for medical treatment. Once deemed fit by the veterinary staff, the owl and the kite will be released back into the wild.
With the spell of rains in Vadodara, reptiles appeared more frequently in and around the city. Against this backdrop, Wildlife SOS conducted rescues of 100 reptiles in the month of September!
A massive 10-foot-long Indian Rock python was spotted slithering in an open agricultural field in Bareja village of Vadodara. Our team travelled 30 kilometres late at night to reach the location with the requisite equipment and protective gear. Given the size of the snake, the rescuers cautiously transferred it safely into a transport carrier. A total of 33 venomous snakes and 58 non-venomous snakes were rescued from various sites by the team in September.
In another incident, residents were in for a shock upon finding a Mugger crocodile in their midst. A four-member team from the Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit arrived at the location with the rescue gear, and safely extricated the five-foot-long reptile. The crocodile was placed under the care of the Gujarat Forest Department and will soon be released back into its natural habitat.
Along with the Gujarat Forest Department and the police, our team also conducted a raid to rescue 15 parakeets after being informed by neighbours in a residential area. In a separate operation, leopard skin was also seized in the same month. The success of this action is a result of the intensive intelligence gathered over weeks by the Wildlife SOS-GSPCA Rapid Response Unit. People involved in the illegal wildlife trade were immediately arrested and are being interrogated for further information.
Agra and Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
In the month of September, the Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit was flooded with reptile rescue calls in Agra. Throughout the month, snakes were rescued from challenging locations such as a sewer drain, an entangling net, an MCB board of a house to garden, the railway track, and even from behind a television set!
It turned out to be quite an unexpected day for a resident in Agra when a five-foot-long Indian Rat snake decided to hitch a ride with him inside his two-wheeler! As the rescue team removed the seat, the large reptile was found coiled in the engine and was safely extricated. Our team also rushed to the rescue of a six-foot-long Indian Rock python that was spotted within the premises of Sharda World School, located on the Agra-Delhi Highway.
Several Monitor lizard sightings were also reported by concerned citizens. The Wildlife SOS team was alerted to the presence of a juvenile Monitor lizard in the garden of a school. Armed with years of experience, our rescuers carefully extricated the reptile and transferred it into a carrier. Our team also managed to rescue a nearly five-foot-long Mugger crocodile along with the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department. The reptile was sighted in a pond in Nagla Singh village by anxious residents. A four-member team set up a trap cage and later released the crocodile into its habitat that was far from the village.
A total of 163 reptiles were rescued by our team based in Uttar Pradesh — most of them being the non-venomous Indian Rat snakes. Venomous snakes like the Indian Cobra and Common krait were also safely extricated from human-dominated landscapes. All the reptiles were deemed fit and were later released back into their natural habitat.
The team also managed to successfully rescue 25 birds in September which included peafowl, Black kites, Red-naped ibis, and even a Sarus crane! A total of 64 mammals were also rescued by our team, with the majority of them being Rhesus macaque and Nilgai.
The helpline team based in Delhi tended to several bird rescue operations in the month of September. Residents in Vasant Kunj called upon the Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit to rescue an exhausted Black kite that had entered their house. In an event that occurred almost simultaneously, two parakeets were rescued from a residential area in Kishangarh.
Other birds rescued by the team included a Green pigeon and an Indian peafowl. All the animals were kept under medical observation and were released back into the wild once deemed fit by our veterinary staff.
In all, 53 reptiles were rescued by the team including a Black-headed royal snake, Indian Cobra, Wolf snake, Checkered keelback, Indian Rock python, Common sand boa, and Common krait. At a salon shop in Dwarka, the workers stumbled upon a small snake hiding near the refrigerator. The juvenile snake was discovered to be Russell’s sand boa and was immediately rescued by our team.
Another rescue of a five-foot-long Indian Rat snake was conducted from the Rashtrapati Bhavan lawns. After being informed by a security guard, the snake was carefully extricated and transferred into a transportation carrier by our team.
A resident in Paharganj reached out to the Wildlife SOS helpline when he found a fallen squirrel inside his home. The Three-striped palm squirrel fell through a window from the second floor to the first floor. Our rescue team soon reached the venue and kept the squirrel under medical observation to check for any sustained injuries. The tiny mammal was found unharmed and was soon released.
Our Rapid Response Units actively address situations of distress and conflict to make sure that any animal caught in such a scenario is fast attended to. Our units are established in the following regions and can be reached out for assistance on the 24-hour helpline numbers:
Delhi NCR – +91 9871963535
Agra and Mathura, Uttar Pradesh – +91 9917109666
Vadodara, Gujarat – +91 9825011117
Jammu and Kashmir – +91 7006692300, +91 9419778280