An 8ft-long Indian Rock Python was found trapped inside an Indian Air Force transport plane on Wednesday (5 July). Rescuers spent nearly five hours to remove the unwelcome guest from the AN-32 aircraft.
The snake was stuck inside the undercarriage bay of the right wing of the aircraft. Currently, it has been kept under observation by Wildlife SOS, a non-governmental organisation, in Agra — a city in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.
It was a challenge to free the snake from the undercarriage, without causing any harm, two expert snake-rescuers from Wildlife SOS who helped free the snake said. They added that although the procedure took a long time, the python remained calm most of the time.
"We had to get the python out of that narrow space keeping its safety in mind," one expert told the Press Trust of India. "We patiently waited for the snake to loosen its grip so that we could carefully transfer it to a transport carrier," the person added.
"Rescues like these require skills and patience. We thank the Indian Air Force for considering the well-being of the python and reporting the incident to us," Baiju Raj MV, director of conservation (projects) at Wildlife SOS said.
The python will soon be released into its natural habitat, Raj added.
The Indian Rock Python is a large non-venomous snake species found mostly in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The reptile is a protected species under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
Most of the Indian Rock Pythons have large sized, dark irregular patches on their body. Their average length is between 7ft to 12ft. The larger ones can grow up to 25ft, but generally the longest ones found so far are around 18ft long.
Most of them have a pinkish head and are slow-moving creatures. They generally live in dense vegetation, agricultural land's edge, rocky hills or water bodies. Indian Rock Pythons are nocturnal in nature, but can also be spotted during the day time.