Uttarakhand forest officials rescue very rare Red Coral Kukri snake
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A very rare Red Coral Kukri snake which was spotted in Uttarakhand’s Nainital district and rescued by forest department on Friday, officials said Saturday. The snake was rescued from Bindukhatta area of Nainital from a local resident’s house where it was hiding. According to forest officials, the rare snake was 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 the kukri or curved knife of Gorkhas as its teeth are curved like the blade of the kukri. Nitish Mani Tripathi, divisional forest officer (DFO) Terai East said, “Goula forest range team got a call for rescue of a snake on Friday morning from Kavindra Koranga, a resident of Kurriya Khatta village in Bindukhatta area of Nainital district”. “When we went there to rescue the snake, villagers had caught the snake and kept it a plastic sack” he said. Tripathi said after rescuing the snake from the spot, the team was surprised. “It was the rare of rarest snakes – Red Cora Kukri snake. The team rescued it and released it in the forest.” Vipul Mourya, wildlife expert from Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) said Red Coral Kukri is a very rare snake and has been spotted only twice so far in Uttarakhand. “It was reported in 2015 in the Surai forest range of Terai East forest division. Earlier in 2014, this snake was reported in Surai forest range near Uttar Pradesh border but then it was found dead,” he said. 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.