Snakes and caimans displaced by the expansive flooding of the Central Plains are finding their way into the properties of residents and some have already been killed.
On Saturday, a five-foot rainbow boa slithered inside the living-room of a house at Munroe Road, Chaguanas, after the Caroni River burst its banks and flooding hundreds of houses on the Central Plains.
Resident Dave Roopnarine said the snake posed a threat so it was killed and dumped.
During an interview yesterday, Saiyaad Ali, founder of the Reptile Conservation Centre (RCC), urged people not to attempt to handle the creatures, saying some of the snakes could be venomous.
In an interview, Ali said Serpentarium and the RCC had been receiving distress calls about wild animals entering properties.
“We responded to a call in La Solita Trace in Kelly Village where a resident found a rainbow boa about two feet long inside his property. We were able to safely remove it,” Ali said.
He added that a non-venomous Cat-eyed night snake was found at Ross Street, St Helena, around 9 pm Tuesday.
“We are dealing with calls as they come. There were also a number of calls about the common brown bandied water snake, which is very rampant in the low lying areas,” Ali said.
He noted that two caimans were also removed from a property.
Ali warned that the displaced animals were just as terrified as humans and should not be handled. He said some of the venomous snakes have similar colouration as non-venomous snakes to the untrained eye and there could be mishaps.
“Try not to interfere with wildlife. If you get bitten you can get infected. These snakes feed on dead animals so there is a lot of bacteria. Try to avoid contact. If the animal could be photographed and a photo sent to someone with a location, they will get assistance. We have asked for the location so we can find you easily. We have teams deployed and we are responding to reports,” Ali added.
Zoological Society president Gupte Lutchmiedial could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Animals 360 board member Michelle Morrison also appealed to home-owners not to leave their pets behind. Speaking on CNC3’s Morning Brew yesterday, Morrison said all pets should be tagged in the event of a disaster. She said those residents who live in two-storey homes should take their pets to higher ground. She also advised that pets be set free, saying any pet that is tethered could drown in flood waters.
People wanting to report wildlife intrusion can call the zoo’s rescue hotline is 800-4ZOO or call the Reptile Conservation Centre at 675-2394.
- by Radhica De Silva