A bag containing four endangered snakes was found on a train from Allahabad at New Delhi railway station Friday. The snakes were rescued by Wildlife SOS.
Railway officials said a suspicious bag and an unclaimed basket were detected by cleaning officials in one of the compartments on the Manduadih Express that arrived from Allahabad. On finding snakes in the bag, the Railway Protection Force called Wildlife SOS on their emergency line, 91-9871963535, at 8.40 pm.
A team from Wildlife SOS — which runs the only 24-hour wildlife rescue cell in the National Capital Region — arrived quickly and saw to it that neither people nor snakes were harmed.
The bag contained an Indian python, two red sand boas and a common sand boa, all of which are endangered species under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
Suvidha Bhatnagar of Wildlife SOS said, “Incidents like these are not frequent, but they are not unheard of. Not too long ago, we had found two women with a bag containing a rare species of turtle at the station.”
Geeta Seshamani, co-founder of Wildlife SOS, said, “Illegal trade of exotic and endangered snake species continues to be prevalent in India on account of various superstitious myths and beliefs attributed to them. Awareness regarding the illegality of the offence and the abominable treatment of these animals is incredibly important to curb cruelty and poaching of wildlife.”
The snakes will be kept under observation to see if they will be able to survive in the wild, following which they can be released, said officials.
While nobody was harmed, the Delhi Police have not yet managed to track down the owner of the bag or why it was left behind.