Family kills 5-foot boa seeking flood refuge

Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 08:00

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