New DelhiA black-headed royal snake was rescued from the Delhi Assembly premises by the Wildlife SOS rapid response unit on Monday afternoon. According to the NGO, the housekeeping staff at the Delhi Vidhan Sabha spotted the snake inside one of the meeting rooms and the matter was immediately reported to the Wildlife SOS’ 24-hour rescue helpline.The team identified the snake as a black-headed royal snake (Spalerosophis atriceps), also known as a diadem snake. Wasim Akram, manager of Wildlife SOS special projects team, said, “It was a snakelet as it had pale brown patches and lacked the distinct irregular black markings that adult royal snakes have on their body. We had to take care not to harm or startle it. The rescue team carefully removed the reptile and relocated it to its natural habitat.”Akram said royal snakes were non-venomous and were protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Royal snakes are excellent climbers and are often found on trees, low bushes and crevices. As a defence mechanism, under threats and stressful situations, they coil up and hiss loudly, but rarely bite in retaliation.“Royal snakes are harmless to human beings and they mostly feed on rodents, lizards, birds and small mammals. People unnecessarily panic on spotting a snake as not everyone can distinguish venomous snakes from non-venomous ones. Our team works hard to sensitise people to these largely misunderstood creatures and make it possible for them to co-exist in urban areas,” Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder and CEO of Wildlife SOS.