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4-foot-long venomous snake scares Srinagar family

The Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit removing the poisonous Levantine viper from the Srinagar household

Residents of a Balhama household in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar district were in for a rude shock when they encountered a highly venomous snake, a 4-foot-long Levantine viper inside their home.

The viper was spotted by the family in the verandah of their home and they immediately altered the 24×7 Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit operating in the State (+91 7006692300, +91 9419778280).

Travelling 35 kilometres, the rescue team reached the spot by which time the reptile had slithered behind a shoe rack. After moving away the crowd that had gathered the team rescued the snake adhering to all necessary precautions.

Currently under observation, it will be soon released in the wild.

Sharing details about the operation, Aaliya Mir, Education Officer and Programme Head- J&K, Wildlife SOS said: “Levantine vipers are known to be aggressive in nature. They are capable of lightning fast strikes when provoked and will give out a warning hiss before striking. In this case, the rescue went smoothly since we exercised extreme caution and had informed the members of the household to not panic and keep their distance.”

These snakes are locally known as Gunas and eat rodents, lizards and birds. Their venom is hemotoxic and acts on the cardiovascular system, including the heart and blood, causing extreme pain, inflammation and tissue damage at the bite site.

Four baby Barn owls rescued

In another incident, the rescue team came to the aid of four baby Barn owls. A family in Srinagar’s Shalteng area were surprised to find them in the backyard of their residence, which they were about to demolish. Concerned for their safety, the family alerted the Wildlife SOS.

The four owlets were safely rescued and it is suspected that they were abandoned by their mother. At present they are under the care of the NGO’s care until they are fit to return to the wild.

A widely distributed bird, this particular species usually makes nests in unused burrows, tree cavities, terraces and wells away from human habitation, so that they are not disturbed. They are a nocturnal species that are very shy and wary of humans.

The team also rescued an injured Black kite which had spotted in Srinagar’s Rawalpora area. It was lying motionless and people informed the NGO about it. It had sustained a minor wound on its wing and is currently receiving medical treatment.