python, generic
Photo for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Pixabay

Thiruvananthapuram: Displaying concern for wildlife, authorities stopped working on a new four-lane highway in Kerala’s northern most district of Kasargod for 54 days to enable a mother python, found in the area, to hatch its 24 eggs, officials said.

As workers attached to the Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society Ltd (ULCCS), the agency building the four-lane highway, were working on a culvert, they found a big snake, resting in a hole in the area from where earth was excavated.

The workers then got in touch with a local snake catcher A. Ameen, who, after inspection, found out that the Indian rock python was hatching its eggs.

The company officials went into a huddle and decided to halt the culvert work as they were told not to disturb the mother python.

The officials also got expert opinion, which was that it wouldn’t be wise to disturb the mother snake, and the work at the culvert came to a halt in the third week of March.

According to top Forest officials, pythons are classified under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act and enjoy the same protection as tigers in India.

Ameen, with the permission of the officials, once the eggs started to break, decided to move all the eggs to his house as the presence of the mother python is no longer essential at this stage.

When Ameen crawled towards the resting place of the eggs, even though the mother python was present, it did not attack him as he collected the broken eggs carefully, which he took to his house.

All the 24 eggs hatched at his house, and on Sunday he, along with the Forest officials, released 15 small pythons into the forest. The remaining would be released soon.

On Monday, work on the culvert also resumed.