Sharjah: A python spread panic among Al Naba’a residents on Sunday.
Anjad police finally managed to get the python, measuring more than a metre, into a bag and give it a temporary home at the Sharjah Desert Park along Al Dhaid road.
The Burmese python with brown spots was first spotted by a taxi driver at about 2pm. He saw it falling from a date palm tree on the roadside. “It was complete pandemonium after that. People just gathered around it and it was slithering at its own pace, but we were making sure not to annoy it. I immediately ensured that no one got closer to it and kill it. Someone called the police,” he said.
“One policeman showed courage and went closer to the python which was now lying still. People stood in disbelief when the policeman took a stick and pinned the python to the ground. He stood there for some time before a colleague of his got a bag and they both managed to get the snake into it,” said Abdul Nasar Kaindar, a shopkeeper.
Another shopkeeper said this is the first time that he has come across such a reptile in that locality. He said: ‘We don’t know how it came into the city but we all are grateful that it did not harm anyone. Most importantly the snake was caught alive and was not killed.”
Asha Sandhu a resident said: “I can’t imagine what chaos a snake of that particular length and weight would have caused if it had entered a building or a house. I am glad that it was found in an open area. I feel it must have come into the city from the sea which is nearby.”
An official at Sharjah Municipality confirmed that the python will be taken to the Sharjah Desert Park temporarily before a decision is made on it. The official said: “No one was injured.”
Paul Vercammen, operations manager, Breeding Center for Endangered Arabian Wildlife, Sharjah said the Burmese python is not found locally and are imported when they are small.
He said: “It grows to about 2 to 3 metres. When people who get the snake, find it difficult to handle when it grows they release it or at times the python escapes. These pythons are dangerous, they kill prey by squeezing. They are kept in captivity but to do that one needs a permit. We do not recommend keeping this python captive. It has a potential to grow to several meters. And when it grows it needs proper food like guinea pig.”
Gulf News recently exposed the illegal animal trade and bought a crocodile from the Sharjah animal market and later donated it to the Dubai zoo. Experts have repeatedly warned against keeping exotic animals as pets.
Facts & figures
- Burmese Pythons are light-coloured snakes with many brown blotches bordered in black down the back.
- Burmese pythons grow to 3.7 metres (12 ft) on average
- The Burmese Python is found throughout Southern- and Southeast Asia
- Burmese Pythons are carnivorous. Their diet consists primarily of appropriately sized birds and mammals. The snake uses its sharp rearward-pointing teeth to seize its prey, then wraps its body around the prey at the same time contracting its muscles, killing the prey by constriction. They are often found near human habitations due to the presence of rats, mice and other vermin as a food