An Air Force transport plane at the Agra airbase had an unusual and unwelcome guest today – an eight-foot-long Indian Rock Python. The reptile was trapped inside the undercarriage bay of the right wing of the AN-32 aircraft, number K2706. IAF officials dialled the wildlife SOS for rescuing the snake. A team comprising two expert snake-rescuers from the NGO arrived at the scene but it took them nearly five hours to extricate the distressed python. They said it was a challenge for them to ensure the large constrictor remained calm and unhurt. “We had to get the python out of that narrow space keeping its safety in mind. We patiently waited for the snake to loosen its grip so that we could carefully transfer it to a transport carrier- (special-designed transport boxes),” an SOS official said.
Officials said the python has been kept under observation and will be released to the natural habitat once deemed fit. Baiju Raj M V, director of conservation (Projects) for Wildlife SOS, said, “Rescues like these require skills and patience. We thank the Indian Air Force for considering the well being of python and reporting the incident to us.” The Indian Rock Python (Python molurus) is a large non- venomous species found in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The species is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and is listed under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), which regulates the international trade of wildlife species.