BBMP volunteers successfully hatch rare snakelets

BBMP Wildlife volunteers successfully incubated rescued eggs of banded kukri snake from Hegde Nagar. All of them hatched on Thursday.

It was a challenge of sorts for Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) wildlife volunteers when they came across the eggs of a rare and possibly endangered snake species in July.

Three months later though, they are in rapture as they managed to hatch all the seven eggs without damaging even one of them and released the hatchlings into the wild, a delicate operation from start to finish.

In mid July, a banded kukri snake –one of the rarest species in Bengaluru- dropped into the water sump at the residence of Vaishali Mahesh, an energy healer in Hegde Nagar. It tried to slither out of the sump and managed to lay the eggs on the steps of the storage area where they were exposed to attacks by other snakes and frogs.

Vaishali’s family noticed the struggling snake and immediately alerted BBMP volunteer Rajesh, who was surprised to see the banded kukri as their sightings are becoming rarer due to destruction of their habitat.

“The snake somehow entered the rainwater harvesting pipe and slid into the tank accidentally,” Rajesh said. “Luckily, it laid eggs on the steps above the water level.”

The volunteers first recovered the eggs and stored them in a sandbox. The visibly stressed out snake was released into the wild at Hegde Nagar. They then brought the eggs to the incubating centre where they incubated them for nearly 80 days.

“All the eggs hatched on Thursday,” said Rajesh. “There was no damage to the eggs. All the snakes were healthy and were released to the wild at the same place where the mother snake was left three months ago.”

An animal lover, Vaishali said her family felt sad watching the ordeal of the kukri snake. “The volunteers have done a commendable job (saving the eggs),” she said. “It’s important we’re aware of the rare species and conserve them for posterity. We thank Rajesh and his team for successfully incubating the snakes.”

Also known as common kukri, the snake is named after Kukri-knife in Nepali due to its sharp and thin fangs. A non-venomous snake found in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, banded kukris feed on eggs.

Rajesh said the snakes drill almost invisible holes on eggshells and suck up the yolk. The shell would almost undamaged after its contents were swallowed, he added.

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BBMP volunteers successfully hatch rare snakelets

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