A PYTHON spotted on the lush green Kalina campus of the University of Mumbai has given students the scare of their lives. For almost a month now, the serpent has forced teachers and students to avoid certain parts of the campus altogether.
“Several of us professors have seen the python, particularly near the Ambedkar Bhavan and the Vice Chancellor’s bungalow. This has led to a scare among students,” said Sundar Rajdeep, a senior professor of the communication and journalism department.
According to students, snakes of all kinds can be found in abundance on campus. Rajesh Patole, an MPhil student and a resident of the Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil Boys Hostel in Kalina, said he has spotted at least two pythons. “There are more than two pythons here. Apart from pythons, cobras and rattlesnakes are aplenty on the campus,” he said, adding that he has spotted several cobras around the sports complex. “There’s no point complaining about the snakes to the security. There are just so many of them because of the surroundings. Large parts of the campus are unoccupied and there is dense vegetation on such areas. It is their natural habitat. So it’s easier to just avoid certain parts, particularly at night,” said Patole.
Rajdeep agreed it is easier to avoid certain routes. “I have come across a python a couple of times when I am headed out on my motorcycle. I simply turn around and take a different route,” he said.
Animals on campuses of colleges and institutes are not an uncommon sight. Last year, hostelites of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay had a tough time as they returned from lectures to find monkeys in their rooms. The monkeys would be found sleeping on the beds or scouring through dustbins for food. A year on, students say sightings have reduced.