Srinagar- In a rare incident, a nearly 4-foot-long Levantine viper was found inside a home in Balhama, which left the family members in a state of shock.
Later, the Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit rescued the highly venomous snake and it is currently under observation.
Officials said that on Tuesday night residents of a household in Balhama, were shocked to find a 4-foot-long Levantine viper in the verandah of their home. On spotting the snake, the family immediately alerted the Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit, which works round-the-clock to save wild animals in distress.
The Wildlife SOS team travelled nearly 35 km with the requisite equipment and protective gear to conduct the rescue. By the time they had reached the location, the snake had slithered behind a shoe rack and a crowd had gathered.
After quelling the crowd, the team extricated the snake with the necessary precautions and put it into a safety box.
The reptile is currently under observation and will soon be released back into its natural habitat, Wildlife Team officials said.
Aaliya Mir, Education Officer and Programme Head- J&K, Wildlife SOS informed, “Levantine vipers are known to be aggressive in nature. They are capable of lightning fast strikes when provoked and will give out a warning hiss before striking. In this case, the rescue went smoothly since we exercised extreme caution and had informed the members of the household to not panic and keep their distance. As a result, the viper was calm and we were able to safely extricate the snake.”
It is pertinent to mention, The Levantine viper (Macrovipera lebetina) is known as ‘Gunas’ in the local language that feeds on rodents, lizards and birds, and is found in the mountainous regions of Jammu & Kashmir. Their venom is hemotoxic (acts on the cardiovascular system, including the heart and blood), causing extreme pain, inflammation and tissue damage at the bite site.
Wildlife SOS (WSOS), a non-profit charity was established in 1998 with the primary objective of rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife in distress across India.
The organization actively runs wildlife and nature protection projects to promote conservation, combat poaching & illegal wildlife trade.