Reptiles taking shelter at Delhi NCR homes on the rise due to heat

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Soaring temperatures in the National Capital Region have lured reptiles out of their natural habitats in search of cooler places with NGO volunteers involved in rescue and relief work kept on their toes to deal with such incidents.

On Monday, the Wildlife SOS Rapid Response Unit – a non-profit working for rescuing and rehabilitation of wild animals – said it has been busy attending to a plethora of rescue calls regarding reptiles in the most unexpected places – bedrooms, storage rooms, and even window sills!

“Spotting a reptile within one’s own home can be an extremely stressful situation. However, it is integral to remember that reptiles act defensive or bite only if provoked. Thus, one must maintain their distance and contact a professional as soon as possible,” Wasim Akram, Deputy Director, Special Projects, Wildlife SOS, said.

The Rapid Response Unit was called in for the urgent rescue of a six-feet-long Indian Rat Snake that was coiled around the bed of a residence in Silver Oak Farm, Ghitorni in southeast Delhi. Shocked to find their bed being used by a snake, the residents immediately contacted Wildlife SOS at their helpline (+91-9871963535) that runs round the clock to rescue animals in distress.

The snake was carefully extricated from the bedpost and transferred into a transportation carrier.

In another incident last week, a juvenile black-headed royal snake was found in the storage area of a residence in Madrasa Road, Kashmere Gate in north Delhi. The snake was nestled between various unused items, creating the perfect spot to get some respite from the heat!

Also, in another incident, the Wildlife SOS team rushed to the aid of a three-feet-long Monitor Lizard at DMRC Apartments, Sarita Vihar in South Delhi. The reptile was initially seen crawling along the window sill but ended up trapped between the window panes. The rescuers carefully extricated the reptile and transferred it into a carrier.

All three reptiles were later released back into the wild. Reptiles are ecto-thermic, which means that they need to use outside sources to regulate their body temperature. Therefore, on hot summer days, they seek out shade and shelter to stay cool.

“Reptiles are cold-blooded animals who are more active during the summertime. Over the years, people have become more aware of this behaviour and contact our helpline as soon as they spot a reptile,” said Kartick Satyanarayan, co-founder & CEO of Wildlife SOS.

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