Rare species of cat snake spotted in Rawatbhata in Rajasthan
Forstens cat snake is commonly found in Western Ghats, and in Uttarakhand, western Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengaljaipur Updated: Oct 21, 2017 20:49 IST
A rare cat snake species has been spotted in Rawatbhata town of Chittorgarh district, the third place in Rajasthan where the reptile was found.
“Earlier, the presence of the cat snake species has been reported only at Mount Abu and Fulwari ki Nal sanctuary of Udaipur,” said Satish Sharma, former assistant conservator of forest and a wildlife conservationist.
Wildlife enthusiasts Rimal Sudhindran, Anirudh Singh Chauhan and Hitesh Gundi recently found the rare snake – ‘Forsten’s cat snake’ -- at Rawatbhata, near Kota.
The snake species was named after Dutch naturalist Eltio Alegondas Forsten who worked mainly in southeast Asia; several bird and reptile species are named after him.
Forsten’s cat snake is commonly found in Western Ghats, and in Uttarakhand, western Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal.
“This snake is nocturnal and one of the biggest cat snakes; it hangs on to trees and shrubs to look out for its prey,” Sudhindran told HT. “It feeds mainly on lizards, birds and even birds’ eggs.”
He said, “These snakes have got mild venom, which is not very effective on humans; they can grow up to five feet.”
Satish Sharma said, “Forsten’s cat snake is a rare species found in limited areas. Its spotting indicates that Rawatbhata is among the rare abodes of the snake species in Rajasthan.”
Anuraj Bhatnagar, ranger of the forest and wildlife department, Rawatbhata, said presence of Forsten’s cat snake was a proof of the sound ecological health in Rawatbhata region.
“The place in Rawatbhata, where the snake has been spotted, is surrounded by dense forests,” he said.