Agra: A red sand boa was rescued by the Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit from a State Bank of India ATM, near MG Road in Agra, UP. The snake, found to be in good health, was released back into its natural habitat shortly.
Shocked to discover the reptile coiled behind the ATM machine, the security guards on duty immediately reported to the District Magistrate’s office, which then contacted Wildlife SOS for assistance.
A member of the rescue team rushed to the location and identified the snake as a red sand boa (Eryx johnii), a non-venomous boa species commonly found in the Indian subcontinent.
Due to their double-headed appearance, the snake species has various superstitious beliefs attributed to them, consequentially exposing them to the danger of being killed, despite being protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Sakir, Wildlife SOS animal rescuer, said, “The space behind the ATM machine was not very wide, so it was difficult to catch the snake without alarming it. On sensing that we were trying to capture it, the snake tried to defend itself by coiling up to hide its head and raising its tail. However, this made it easier for us to extricate the snake.”
“They spend most of their time underground but during monsoons their homes get destroyed due to flooding and they are forced to venture into human habitations, in search of food,” said Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder of Wildlife SOS.