Five-foot long python rescued from IGNOU west Delhi campus
Monday morning started on a startling note for students and staff at Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) campus in west Delhi’s Maidan Garhi, when a five-foot long Indian rock python was found inside a crack in the boundary wall.
While the snake was trapped in the narrow space, the IGNOU staff dialled Wildlife SOS, an NGO involved in wildlife conservation. A two-member team was sent to the campus to rescue the python.
“We had to break off a part of the brick wall to safely extricate the snake. It took almost an hour to safely carry out the rescue operation,” said a statement issued by Wildlife SOS.
Surinder Singh Rawat, security personnel from IGNOU said, “We saw the python slithering into a narrow gap in the wall near the entry gate. We have had similar incidents in the past, as the campus is located near a forest.”
The rock python was later released in the Asola Wildlife Sanctuary, it said. The species is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Around 30 species of snakes have been recorded from Delhi out of which only four are venomous - Spectacle Cobra, Common Krait, Saw Scale Viper and Russell’s Viper. Indian Rock Pythons (Python molurus) though commonly found across the country, face extreme threat, as they are often confused with the venomous Russell’s Viper and are often killed when they enter human habitats.
“Although non-venomous, a python’s bite can be injurious, so our team had to carefully ease the snake out, making sure it did not get hurt in the process. We frequently carry out rescues from the IGNOU campus as it is located close to the central ridge reserve forest, which is home to a variety of wildlife species,” said Wasim Akram, deputy director, Special Projects, Wildlife SOS.
Among the snakes that have been rescued, the maximum are Spectacled Cobra, Common Krait, Python and Indian Rat Snake, among others.
“Incidents of snake encounters have been increasing over the past few years. This doesn’t mean that population of snakes in going up. It just means that our conflicts with snakes are on the rise,” said Kartick Satyanarayan chairman, Wildlife SOS.