Python Seriously Injured by Villagers, Haripura, Uttarakhand

Anushree Bhattacharjee

The Indian Rock Python (Python molurus) is placed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act (1972), thus giving it the highest legal protection status our country. Usually, however, this is of no help to the poor creature.

We came upon this injured python in Haripura wetland, Uttarakhand on 12 April 2012. When we asked around, we were told by some children that the python had been hit with a heavy stone by some local villagers when they had chanced upon it the previous day. The poor animal had been lying in the scorching sun with its head bashed in and several other injuries inflicted all over its body for ONE whole day!!!! I saw that the animal was still alive and trying to crawl away but could not. We contacted the local forest guards and brought them to the site. We then contacted the concerned Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) and he instructed the forest guards to take the python into custody and have it treated at the local veterinary clinic. This was done and when I contacted the forest guard a couple of days later he informed that the python had been given treatment for a day and then released into a nearby forested tract. I hope that nature will help the python make a full recovery. This incident brought to focus the fact that snakes still invoke fear and hatred in most people. It also highlighted how ill equipped the local forest guards are to deal with such incidents.

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