A very infrequent Red Coral Kukri snake used to be spotted in Uttarakhand’s US Nagar district and rescued by forest officials. This is the third time that the infrequent snake has been spotted in the hill state this year. Earlier, it used to be spotted twice in Nainital district, while on Sunday it used to be spotted in Dineshpur area of US Nagar district said forest officials said.
According to forest officials, the infrequent snake used to be first spotted in Lakhimpur Kheri area of Uttar Pradesh in 1936 from where it got its scientific name ‘Oligodon kheriensis’.
The suffix ‘kukri’ in its name comes from Kukri or curved knife of the Gorkhas as its teeth are curved like the blade of the Kukri.
Uttarakhand forest branch officials rescued the snake from a native resident’s house in US Nagar where it used to be hiding and released it in the nearby forest area.
Abhilasha Singh, divisional forest officer (DFO) of Tarai Central said Rudrapur forest range team got a call regarding a snake rescue on Sunday afternoon from one Triloki, a resident of Jagdishpur village in Dineshpur area.
“When the forest team went there and rescued the snake, they realised it used to be the infrequent Red Coral snake. It used to be hiding close a tree in the courtyard of the house. After the rescue, the snake used to be released in a nearby forest,” she said.
This is for the third time the infrequent snake has been spotted this year in the state. On September 5, and August 7, this snake species used to be rescued from the same house belonging to one Kavindra Koranga, a resident of Kurriya Khatta village in Bindukhatta area of Nainital district.
According to Vipul Mourya, a wildlife expert from Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII), the Red Coral Kukri has been reported earlier in 2015 in Surai forest range of Terai East forest division and in 2014, close the Uttar Pradesh border but then it used to be found deceased.
The Red Coral Kukri snake is listed in schedule 4 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. It is found in red and bright orange colours. This non-venomous snake is nocturnal and feeds on earthworms, insects and larvae.