What did you see on your run today?  A HUGE snake

What did you see on your run today? A HUGE snake

In the blazing early morning heat that is Delhi these days, I was trotting slowly round my beloved Biodiversity Park.

Jackal. Tick.

Zillions of peacocks. Tick.

Then, as I passed a “mali” (gardener), he says to me in Hindi, “Memsahib, look there. A snake” and calmly gets back to his gardening.

And sure enough, there was a snake, inside the protective net around a young sapling.

Like so:

Snakes alive!

I was initially worried that it was trapped inside the netting, but the top was open, and when questioned, the mali said that the snake was fine. He’d get out when he wanted to.

I reckon the gardeners have way more experience of snakes in the park than I do, so I stopped worrying, and watched some more, as a small crowd of fellow morning-walkers joined me. I now know that this is a rat snake, but I didn’t then, so before going closer, I checked in with the mali who told me it wouldn’t bite me, so I presumed that meant it also wouldn’t spit at me if I got too close…

We were a motley little crew by the end – a French man telling me to be careful. 2 women who shrieked and headed past PDQ. A nice lady who, like me, didn’t recognise the Hindi name of the critter “dhaman” (rat snake):

People kept saying “cobra” and when I later did some research, I found this comment online:

“Indian rat snakes are non-venomous by nature, and yet, this fact is not enough to save them from regular persecution. Their patterned skin, length and general appearance have caused many misguided individuals to mistake them for being the Indian cobra.”

Misguided individuals, forsooth…

Anyway, I stayed for a while longer and watched as, finally, after fossicking around inside the net, the rat snake slithered up and over the top and headed back into the forest:

Super fun sighting.

20 Comments

  1. Nice one Christine! I’ve saved a few non venomous ones here.. 6ft of rat snakes, and slightly smaller garter snakes from predicaments they’ve got themselves into no thanks to man made structures. I think they were thankful. I haven’t been bitten yet. We respect each others space. I love to potter in the garden and they like to sunbathe. No sudden movements and we’re cool

    Mad Shenker

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