Thursday, 15 October 2009

Trussed-up tree snake gets set free

Dear all,

Well, the monsoon is coming to an end in Goa and soon we'll have nothing but lovely sunshine for months. The tourists are going to start returning and hopefully this means that lots of people will come and help us at Animal Tracks (and play with me!)

Entangled tree snakeA little while ago our team was sent out to rescue a snake. For a change it was not one that had been illegally captured and tortured by a snake charmer. This was a wild one that had got itself trapped in a fishing net. The snake was a common tree snake and it had somehow found its way into the net and was unable to find its way back out. In its efforts to get out it had simply become muddled up in it even more and in the end it was completely entangled.

We have a trained snake handler on the IAR team. His name is Sarvesh and he has taken courses in how to handle all types of snakes. The more poisonous the snake the more dangerous a rescue operation becomes but luckily Sarvesh knows what to do. This particular snake is non-venomous but it can still bite and cause injury if it feels threatened.

Freeing the tree snake form the fishing netWhen the team reached the snake they assessed it and deemed that it was unharmed albeit a bit stressed. The call to the centre had been made by a man who rescued the snake from scared villagers who simply wanted to kill it because they didn't know what to do with it. The man assured them that he would make a call to IAR and that the snake would be released in the wild.

Despite the snake seeming in good health the rescue team decided to take it back to the centre for a thorough examination by our vets. The vets could not find any injuries but kept the snake overnight for observation before releasing it into the forest the next day.

I saw the snake when it was brought to the centre. It was very thin and long and I must say that I get a bit frightened regardless of whether the snake is venomous or not! They all seem a bit slithery and jittery and you never know what goes through their minds! I'm glad though that nothing bad happened to this one and I'm sure it's enjoying life as a free and happy tree snake again.

Love from me!