Bhandara (Maharashtra), 3rd February 2024: In a commendable act of wildlife conservation, Yuvaraj Manohar Bobade, a devoted snake enthusiast with a track record of rescuing snakes, successfully captured a massive Indian Rock Python on January 30.
The rescue mission was initiated following a call from Chaitram Kisan Tekam of Pitezari village in Sakoli taluka of Bhandara district, who had spotted the Python in a rice field near the village. Acting promptly, Yuvaraj was notified and, along with his friend Saurabh Gopal Raut, rushed to the site. At 1:17 p.m., they managed to capture the eight-feet-long Indian Rock Python, weighing approximately 12 kg.
The stunning Python, locally known as ‘Aajgar’ in Marathi, was safely released back into its natural habitat, preserving the delicate ecological balance. Additionally, Yuvaraj exhibited his expertise by rescuing a rare Olive Keelback, identified as Atretium schistosum (Daudin, 1803), discovered in the heart of Sakoli, a small city along the Mumbai-Calcutta national highway.
Speaking about the incident, Yuvaraj shared that he typically rescues 3 to 4 Olive Keelbacks annually, commonly referred to as ‘Shevali Pandivad’ or ‘Tasya’ in Marathi. This non-poisonous species primarily sustains itself by feeding on tadpoles, frogs, and fish, with the younger Keelbacks targeting mosquito larvae.
Beyond his hands-on efforts, Yuvaraj expressed a commitment to bringing about positive change in the local community’s mindset towards these creatures. He highlighted the challenges of introducing change but emphasized that perseverance and continuous communication are key.
In a forward-looking initiative, Nisarga-Vedh, a registered charity, announced plans to conduct a scientific training program for aspiring snake rescuers and educators in Bhandara and Gondia districts. This initiative aims to empower individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute to wildlife conservation efforts in the region.