HYDERABAD: Ophidophiles were in for a pleasant surprise last Friday (July 14) when an Ornate Flying Snake, something that has never been seen in either Telangana or Andhra Pradesh till now, was spotted in Goshamahal. "On July 14, we received a distress call on our helpline from a shopkeeper in Goshamahal reporting a small snake near the entrance of his plywood shop. Responding to the call, our closest member visited the site expecting a Rat Snake or a Spectacled Cobra, which are the common snakes in that region. To his utter disbelief, he found an Ornate Flying Snake ( Chrysopelea ornata), a mildly venomous one. This snake was hiding inside the rolling shutter gap of the shop, from where it was carefully extracted. It was immediately sent to the society's shelter in Sainikpuri for further examination and housing," said Arun Kumar, joint secretary of Friends of Snakes Society.
According to him, Ornate Flying Snake is one of the three species of Flying Snakes found in India.As the name suggests, these snakes are capable of gliding in air by flattening their body, at times, almost twice their normal width. They appear to exhibit this behaviour to avoid predators.
"This species is not found in this region, instead it is found in the Western Ghats, Bihar, Odisha, WB, UP, Northeast India and South East Asia. There are numerous timber depots near the rescue site and it is likely that this snake was accidentally transported along with timber or plywood cargo. This one-and-a-half foot specimen would be temporarily housed at our shelter, during which behavioural studies would be conducted. With the support of the forest department, this 'astray' snake would be relocated to a forest area," he said.