Bengaluru: As barks of stray dogs tore through the night on Tuesday, inmates of Sri Sathya Sai Baba ashram in Whitefield grew alarmed. It was not ferocity but fear which made the strays growl. Having spotted a large snake in the area, the dogs were afraid it may devour them. Inmates and residents in the vicinity of the ashram were surprised to find that the snake was a python, not a common sight in Bengaluru.
It was resting on a fence within the ashram premises. Members of the BBMP forest cell were summoned and by the time they arrived hundreds of passersby had blocked the road leading to the ashram, notwithstanding the enveloping darkness.
CS Nagabhushana, who rescued the snake at 10.30pm, said it was an 8.5 ft long Indian rock python weighing about 8kg. “We received complaints about stray dogs being captured by a huge snake in the past few days but none of them was confirmed. Pythons are not native to Bengaluru and this is only the third one I have seen here in 15 years,” he added.
“It was very difficult to manage the curious crowd. Some of the onlookers were armed with long sticks and weapons. There were no police personnel to control the crowd. Luckily, I rescued the snake within 10 minutes,” said Nagabhushana.
Sharath Babu, chief wildlife warden, BBMP, said python is a non-venomous snake and the one rescued at Whitefield could be 15 years old. “A railway track runs close to the area. The python may have entered one of the trains in search of rodents and sneaked out when the train slowed down or stopped here for some reason.
The snake could have ventured here from the neighbouring forest as well. The python is healthy, which means it was feeding on stray dogs or other animals,” he added. The reptile has been sent to Bannerghatta National Park. It will be released into the wild with the help of the range forest officer in Anekal.
Nagabhushana said the last two locations from where he rescued pythons were in Kengeri and Madiwala. “Kengeri also has a railway station and the python might have arrived in the area in the same way. Inter-state trucks are parked in Madiwala all the time. The snake may have entered one of them,” he added.