Saturday, March 5, 2011

This Russell’s Viper Survived the Perils of Plastic

The Deccan Herald is carrying the following story.

This Russell’s viper survived the perils of plastic
Subhash Chandra N S Bangalore, March 5, DHNS
Reckless disposal of plastic waste almost proved fatal for a venomous Russell’s viper that was found struggling for life near Kengeri. Some passersby recently found the two-foot viper writhing in pain and alerted the People for Animals (PFA), a city-based organisation of animal rights activists.

A PFA volunteer, who rushed to the spot, said he found the viper gasping for breath. Dr Vetrivelu, attached to the PFA, said: “First we thought it was injured, but later, we found something stuck in its mouth.”

As Russell’s viper is venomous, it was sedated before close examination, he said. “We pulled out a piece of a polyethene bag stuck in its jaws. We used forceps and pulled out three more pieces of the polyethene bag that were not less than two feet,” the doctor said.

t took nearly three days for the snake to recover. Suffering from severe dehydration, the viper, weighing about 180 gm, was treated with ringers lactate and normal saline (to prevent dehydration) and ‘subcutane’ (to strengthen the vital organs) for about four days before releasing it into Turhalli forest.

Herpetologists “Snake” Shyam of Mysore and Gowri Shankar say sometimes snakes consume things bigger than their size.

“I once found a snake which had swallowed two metres of cloth,” said Shyam. Shankar said snakes tended to devour anything that smelt like rat or eggs.

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