Mumbai: Rescued eggs of checkered keelback snakes hatch successfully

The Asian Age.

Metros, Mumbai

All the newborn snakes will be released into a suitable habitat.

Snake and eggs recovered by wildlife activist.

Mumbai: In the first of its kind, the Thane forest department has been successful in preserving the eggs of checkered keelback (water non-venomous snakes) that were found abandoned near a hospital in Vikhroli last month. 15 hatchlings, hatched on Saturday after the department in their office premises conserved the eggs. A snake rescuer had found the eggs while he had gone to rescue a snake in the same area.

On February 7, a rescue team member of Resqink Association of Wildlife and Welfare (RAWW) had rescued a female Checkered Keelback water snake from a drainage repair site near a hospital at Vikhroli. A nesting site with cluster of 70 eggs was also found. According to the rescue team, the cluster of eggs had to be recovered due to unavoidable circumstances. Due to ongoing construction work with cement, concrete and excavation, 50 per cent of the eggs were damaged before the recovery.

The eggs were recovered after permission was received from the Mumbai Range Wildlife officials of the territorial wing of the forest department.  

The eggs were kept under care of a team headed by zoologist Chinmay Joshi in custody of the forest department.

“Approximately 20 eggs were in condition that could be saved. As time passed and temperature increased many more eggs could not make it due to the rise in temperature and lack of facilities in the city. However, in 24 hours out of the remaining eggs, 15 newborn reptiles of the same species successfully hatched. Few more eggs are still under the observation,” a forest department official said.

“Reptile eggs require specific temperature and conditions, which are set up with help of incubators. Since such provisions are not available in the city, we managed to regulate temperature without any equipments,” said Pawan Sharma, founder of RAWW. The forest official said that the hatched reptiles would soon be released into a suitable habitat.