Ranchi: An eight-foot-long python was rescued after it swallowed a whole goat in a village in Jharkhand’s Palamau Tiger Reserve (PTR), a forest official said on Sunday.
The python has been spreading fear at Karwai, a village of about 400 families in the Garu (East) forest range of the reserve, for the past four-five days. The villagers were scared as their goats and hens were going missing every morning, officials said.
”The snake reached near the house of one Maneswar Oraon in the village on Saturday and swallowed his goat. The villagers located the python, which was not able to flee after swallowing the goat. They informed me and I immediately sent a four-member rescue team led by forest guard Tara Kumar to the village,” in charge of foresters at PTR Nirbhay Singh told PTI.
He said they rescued the python with help of villagers and released it in the deep forest on the other side of the Koel River.
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”The snake entered the village attracted by domestic animals, as it was getting easy food in the village,” Singh said.
Maneswar Oraon said the goat was in a maize field adjacent to his house when the python attacked and swallowed it. ”Even though the snake used to come out at night, we were afraid because it could be dangerous for little children in the village,” he said.
Forest guard Tara Kumar, who led the rescue operation, told PTI, ”The python will be around eight-foot long. We were not scared of it, as it is non-poisonous. So, we rescued it with help of villagers and released it to a deep forest, so that it cannot return back.” Spread over 1,129 sqkm, PTR, which was constituted in 1974 under Project Tiger for conservation of the big cats, also houses leopards, elephants, gray wolf, gaur, sloth bear, four-horned antelope, Indian ratel, otter, pangolin, and reptiles among its inhabitants.
The reserve is a dense forest of sal and deciduous forests and bamboo groves which is also a watershed area for the Koel, Burha, and Auranga rivers.
A total of 47 species of mammals and 174 species of birds, 970 species of plants, 17 species of grass, and 56 species of medicinal plants have been identified in PTR, officials said.