Kerala Infra Firm Stops Construction Work to Let Python Incubate Eggs?

Can you believe that this Infra company named Uralungal Labour Contract Co-Operative Society Ltd (ULCC) suspended the construction of the culvert for 54 days for a python to hatch 24 eggs in Kerala’s Kasaragod?

Most of them are unaware of the fact that Pythons are classified under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act. Perhaps, this compelled the Infra company to keep everything at bay for 54 days. 

Snake rescuer Ameen Adkanthbail said, “All the 24 eggs hatched. We release 15 babies into the wild yesterday and nine will be released tonight.” 

The workers building a culvert as part of the widening of the NH66, at Eriyal near CPCRI spotted an Indian rock python inside a burrow. 

Without further delay, The Forest Department called in Ameen, who has been rescuing snakes for the past 10 years. Besides being a snake rescuer, Ameen runs an Aluminium fabrication unit for a living.

"Though it is a time-bound project it consented to it. Approaching the NHAI and getting the permission to stop the work would have been cumbersome," said the divisional forest officer of Kasaragod P Biju.

Ameen found several eggs in the burrow, and he noticed that the python had coiled herself around the eggs. Ameen contacted Maveesh Kumar, a herpetologist and head of Wildlife Research at Nepal's Mithila Wildlife Trust, on how to go about it. 

“Maveesh advised me not to shift the eggs because eggs may not hatch without the mother python's warmth,” said Ameen. 

The mother snake wraps herself around the eggs to make sure the eggs get the right amount of temperature. The ideal controlled temperature for the eggs to incubate is between 27 degrees Celsius and 31 degrees Celsius. 

Ameen made it a practice to check the snake and the eggs once every two days. It takes about 60 to 65 days for the python eggs to hatch; the eggs started cracking on the 54th day since ULCCS suspended the work.  

The mother python's presence is not essential once the eggs start cracking, "So we decided to shift the eggs to my house," Ameen said.

All the 24 eggs hatched at Ameen’s house in Adkathbail in Kasaragod. The snakelets were freed in the forest in Mulleria, Kasargod.

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