The city’s reptile rescue teams go to great lengths to save snakes from the inevitable friction of encounters with humans.
On Tuesday, it was all of 12 slithering feet when a python was rescued from a construction site near the domestic Airport.
The snake, huge as it is, was found hiding within a pile of bricks and sand at the site opposite Maruti Udyog, where a private developer is building a sewage treatment plant. Construction workers spotted the snake first, soon after usual activity began in the morning. “We were very scared. It was huge and like any snake, quite scary,” said Santosh Kumar Singh, an administrative officer of the project.
“The labourers halted work as they said that pythons are extremely dangerous. Apparently, they can gulp down a full grown man with ease,” he said, echoing the workers’ exaggerated concerns.
Santosh alerted NGO Wildlife SOS, which immediately dispatched a team of rescue workers to the spot.
According to the NGO, initially the members of the team were sceptical about the reported size of the snake.
“We often get called from scared complainants who tend to exaggerate the size of the snake out of fear. But the python took us by surprise,” said Satyanarayan, a member of Wildlife SOS. The NGO members named it “Super Python” considering its size.
The team took care in handling the large snake. It was carried to a place suitable for it, and released.
“A python this big in Delhi is very rare. We don’t remember rescuing any python this big in the past. We have not heard of any such case in Delhi or the NCR before,” the member said.
When the initial fear subsided after the successful rescue, members of the NGO tried to find out how a python could have reached the spot. Santosh Singh said that there was thick vegetation behind the construction site.
“This is a clear example that man keeps making inroads into the natural habitat of wildlife and that makes animals insecure about their space. We often harm them out of fear. But the fact remains that it is us who have invaded their space,” Satyanarayan said.