A nearly five-foot-long Rat snake was rescued today by Wildlife SOS after it was found inside the Jeoni Mandi water treatment plant here today, officials said. The snake was kept under observation for a few hours and later released back into the wild, the Delhi-based wildlife NGO said. It said that as heat wave continues across northern India, various reptile species are being forced to venture out of their natural habitats and seek reprieve from the sweltering heat in cooler places. Staff at the water treatment plant found the rat snake in the bed filter of the facility last night, and the operations team immediately stopped the filtration machine and informed authorities, the officials said. Wildlife SOS was alerted on their 24-hour rescue helpline and two snake rescuers were dispatched to the water treatment plant, they said. The Jeoni Mandi plant is the oldest and largest supplier of potable water in the city. Upon assessing the situation, one of the rescuers lowered himself into the bed filter to reach out to the nearly five-foot-long snake. It took the team almost 30 minutes to safely carry out the rescue operation after which the snake was moved to a safe transport carrier, the officials said. Safety Officer Raghvendra Singh said, "As the Yamuna river is located nearby, snakes often enter the plant premises through water pipelines to seek refuge in the bed filters." "Thankfully, the Wildlife SOS helpline number is on our emergency contact list and their team managed to carry out the rescue efficiently," he said. Rat snakes (Ptyas mucosa), also known as the Oriental rat snake are a highly adaptable species and are commonly found in urban areas. These snakes often wander into human habitation due to depletion of natural prey base. However, due to their resemblance to cobras, this species is often wrongly identified as the highly venomous snake and is met with hostility and fear, the NGO said. Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder and CEO, Wildlife SOS said, \u201cThe rising temperatures often force snakes out of their natural habitat to find reprieve from the heat and exhaustion." "Since reptiles are cold-blooded their body temperature varies with that of the environment, therefore they are unable to self-regulate their temperature if they get too warm. To combat this they often find places to retreat to during the hottest time of the day," he said. The rat snake was kept in observation for a few hours and later released back in to the wild, the NGO official said.