Forest Department to begin search and rescue operation for reticulated python on IIT-M campus

Workers at the IIT-M reportedly spotted one this week, before which the python was seen around three to four months ago

Published - October 06, 2023 08:53 pm IST - CHENNAI

The Forest Department has started planning a search-and-rescue operation for a reticulated python that was spotted on the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) campus on Thursday.

Reticulated pythons (Malayopython reticulatus) are the world’s longest snakes and the third heaviest. Commonly found in Southeast Asia, reticulated pythons are non-venomous.

Workers at the IIT-M reportedly spotted one this week, before which the python was seen around three to four months ago. The institute lies next to the Snake Park and is contiguous to the Guindy National Park (GNP). As IIT-M and GNP have dense green cover and foliage, they make an ideal habitat for wildlife. 

Snake rescuers of the Forest Department will begin reconnaissance at IIT-M and the Guindy Park. “We have just been informed that a snake was spotted last night. We will see what can be done. Our staff are there assessing the strategy,” said E. Prasanth, Wildlife Warden, Chennai.

Chicken traps are planned to be used to catch the snake. Mr. Prasanth stressed that as the reticulated python was non-venomous, there was no need to panic. 

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists reticulated python as “least concern” globally in view of its wide distribution and presence even in some areas where it is subject to heavy exploitation.

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