Rare viper rescued from park in Delhi’s Rohini | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Rare viper rescued from park in Delhi’s Rohini

The rare snake was first spotted by some children playing in the neighbourhood park, after which a resident immediately called Wildlife SOS for help.

delhi Updated: Dec 19, 2016 20:35 IST
HT Correspondent
The viper was rescued from a park at a residential colony in Rohini by an NGO on Saturday
The viper was rescued from a park at a residential colony in Rohini by an NGO on Saturday

A poisonous viper was rescued from a park at a residential colony in Rohini by an NGO on Saturday.

The rare snake was first spotted by some children playing in the neighbourhood park, after which a resident immediately called Wildlife SOS for help.

“A rapid response team, comprising two trained snake rescuers, arrived at the location and identified the snake as a Russell’s viper (Daboia russelii), one of the ‘big four’ venomous snakes to be found in the Indian subcontinent. They are protected under Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972,” a Wildlife SOS official said.

Geeta Seshamani, co-founder of Wildlife SOS, told that the exquisite viper is not commonly found in the Delhi-NCR region. It was a dangerous operation as the Russell’s viper is highly venomous.

“The team had to take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of bystanders as well as of the snake. Though slow moving, they are capable of fast strikes when provoked and will give out a warning hiss before striking,” Seshamani said.

The NGO has kept the snake under observation. It will be released later in the wild.

Chief wildlife warden of Delhi AK Shukla, said, “In sensitive rescue operations such as this, public safety as well as the safety of the animal is of utmost concern and we are happy to see that the viper was safely rescued.”

The Russell’s viper is shy and elusive by nature, and hence rarely sighted. Found in open grassy areas, scrub jungles and rocky hillocks, they feed mainly on rodents and small mammals, lizards, birds and frogs.

They are a nocturnal species preferring to hunt at night but during winters they tend to be more active during the day. It is possible that increased urbanisation has left these reclusive reptiles with little space to hide which resulted in their being found in human settlements.