4-ft-long monitor lizard, two snakes rescued in Agra

A nearly four-feet-long monitor lizard was left struggling for its life after a plastic jar was stuck over its neck in Awadhpuri in Shahganj, Agra.

The Wildlife SOS team rescued the monitor lizard and removed the plastic jar. The reptile was kept under medical observation for a few hours and later released back in its natural habitat.

Occupants of a house located in Awadhpuri, Shahganj found the reptile in a drain with its head inextricably stuck in a plastic jar.

Surendra Prakash Sharma, the caller, said, “The large reptile was struggling to free itself while it was inside the drain. Since Wildlife SOS has been rescuing distressed animals from

in and around the city, we immediately reported the incident on their helpline. We are glad that timely intervention helped save the life of the monitor lizard.”

Kartick Satyanarayan of the Wildlife SOS, said, “The jar was stuck tightly around the monitor lizard’s neck and the slightest tugging could have caused severe injuries. Our team had to be extremely careful while untangling the lizard to avoid causing it any further stress or injury.”

Baijuraj M.V, Director Conservation Projects, said, “There has been a rise in reptile sightings in Agra and we are grateful to the public for supporting our cause and reporting such incidents on our helpline. Our trained rescuers follow all the safety measures in dealing with such situations.”

The Common Indian Monitor Lizard (Varanus bengalensis) or Bengal Monitor Lizard is found in the Indian subcontinent. They inhabit scrubs, parks, jungles and mainly feed on small

mammals, birds, rodents, insects, etc. This species is listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Monitor lizards play an important role in the ecosystem but they are

often killed for their meat and body parts due to misconstrued beliefs.

The team also responded to a python rescue call from Rambagh. The eight-feet-long python was seen in a drain near Agra’s busiest Rambagh crossing and was rescued safely. The team also rescued a venomous Common Krait from the kitchen of a house in Bichpuri, Agra. All the reptiles were deemed fit and later

released back in their natural habitat.