‘Python’ miss­ing from south Delhi park, res­cuers search for two days

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - Front Page - Ri­tam Halder ri­tam.halder@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The snake that had taken refuge in Gee­tan­jali En­clave’s cen­tral park is miss­ing for two days and res­cuers haven’t been able to lo­cate it.

On Thurs­day, Hin­dus­tan Times re­ported that res­i­dents have stopped ven­tur­ing out to the park as a python had taken refuge there for the past one month.

Ac­cord­ing to res­cuers from the NGO Wildlife SOS, the snake, which wasn’t a python but a non­ven­omous sand boa, has wan­dered away.

“Our teams went on both Thurs­day and Fri­day but no snake was found at the park. It might have wan­dered some­where. The photo which the res­i­dents showed is that of a sand boa, which is not poi­sonous. It is not a python and be­cause of the photo it is look­ing big­ger than what it ac­tu­ally is,” a Wildlife SOS of­fi­cial said.

Res­i­dents, how­ever, have de­cided to keep the park’s gate locked. “We have even de­puted a guard out­side the park to keep peo­ple away, es­pe­cially chil­dren. We have spot­ted the python at least five to six times in the past few days. They (the res­cuers) said they couldn’t find any­thing. How­ever, If an in­ci­dent takes place, who will be re­spon­si­ble for it,” said Giri Khanna, vice-pres­i­dent of Gee­tan­jali En­clave co-op­er­a­tive so­ci­ety.

But why did this Sand Boa de­cide to take shel­ter in this neigh­bour­hood park? Ex­perts say grow­ing habi­tat de­struc­tion and en­croach­ment is rapidly blur­ring the lines be­tween cities and forests. Con­se­quently, the wildlife liv­ing in prox­im­ity to such ex­pand­ing ar­eas have no choice but to for­age or seek shel­ter in ur­ban habi­tats.

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