A seven-foot long female Indian rock Python was cut in to two during a six-hour operation to rescue it from a tree in Thane.
Around 3pm on Tuesday, a few residents of Saikunj society and other nearby areas near Runwal Plaza Thane (west) got scared after they spotted the python on a tree. Accordingly they informed the civic authorities and a wildlife NGO about it.
Soon, along with the officials, around 400 people gathered at the spot to watch the python being rescued. However, while the authorities took to cutting a branch in order to retrieve the reptile, they ended up cutting the python too.
After the incident, civic authorities and volunteers from the wildlife NGO have been blaming each other for their carelessness resulting in the python’s death.
Commenting on the incident, an official from Thane’s regional disaster management cell Santosh Kadam said, “On Tuesday afternoon we came to know that a python had gotten entangled with a branch so we cut the branch off and handed the matter over to the fire brigade.”
According to the fire brigade officer from Wagle Estate fire unit G Patil, however, the volunteers from the NGO had instructed them to cut the branch off. “The python had gone inside a hole and as per the instructions by the NGO volunteers we began to cut the branch. By then it was almost 9pm and the place was too crowded as a lot of people had gathered at the spot and were clicking photos and the reptile was getting disturbed with all the flashlights.”
He added, “We asked the public to disperse from the spot. After that when we cut off the branch, we saw blood oozing out as the python was badly injured and by the time it was pulled out, it was already dead.”
Meanwhile, the president of NGO WWA (Wildlife Welfare Association) Aditya Patil, that was involved with the operation, said, “We got a distress call on Tuesday afternoon and soon our volunteers rushed to the spot. When they saw that the python was hiding inside a hole in one of the branches. We then asked the civic officials to call us back when the reptile emerged as our aim was to let it come out naturally. But the officials said that they cannot leave the place as it is a residential area and so our volunteers also stayed back. But the operation was in vain”.
Patil further added, “We had warned the fire brigade and the contract labourers from Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) to not cut the branch but they went ahead and the python was cut into two parts.”
The Thane range forest officer was informed about the incident and the python was cremated. The port-mortem report is expected to be out by Thursday, claimed Patil.
Adding to this, the TMC public relations officer S Malvi said, “We will look into the matter and legal action will be taken on those who are found guilty.”
So far no complaints have been registered in the incident. Senior inspector K Gavit from Vartak nagar police station in Thane said, “We are aware of the incident but no one has approached us with any allegations or complaints yet.”