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Rare Venomous 'Black-bellied Coral' Snake Found Alive for First Time in Uttarakhand

A 'black-bellied coral snake', a rare species of snake discovered in Uttarakhand, making it State's first. (Credit: ANI/Twitter)

A 'black-bellied coral snake', a rare species of snake discovered in Uttarakhand, making it State's first. (Credit: ANI/Twitter)

The snake was found at an altitude of 6,233 feet. It is usually seen at heights ranging between 2,500 and 6,000 feet while one the way to the Bhadraj temple in Barlow Gunj, Mussorie.

A rare species of a poisonous snake was discovered in the Benog Wildlife Sanctuary of Mussoorie recently. the snake, which is reportedly a black-bellied coral snake (Sinomicrurus nigriventer), was seen by scientists from the Wildlife Institute of India (WWI).

The snake was found at an altitude of 6,233 feet. It is usually seen at heights ranging between 2,500 and 6,000 feet while one the way to the Bhadraj temple in Barlow Gunj, Mussorie. Biologists say that there are only 107 species of this reptile found around the world and so far only 7 has been seen in India. Also, this is the first time this a snake from this species has been seen in Uttarakhand alive. Last time, a dead black-bellied coral snake was spotted in Nainital in 2019.

Abhijit Das, a scientist at the WWI told The Times of India that owing to the richness of the flora and fauna of the Indian Himalayan Region, there is a lot that can be discovered when it comes to such reptiles. Das said the species found in Nainital and Mussoorie point out that the sub-tropical and temperate forests are yet to be properly explored.

Das said they have registered the reptile as it’s a medically important snake.

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Speaking to news agency ANI, he said, “The snake has six generations in India, which are mainly found in Himalayan region, Northeast, and one group in the South. Given its venomous feature, this record is important for Uttarakhand as it’s the first-of-its-kind snake discovered here."

Last year, in a rare discovery, a Red Coral Kukri snake was rescued from a residential house in Uttarakhand’s Nainital district. The incident took place near Bindukhatta area of Nainital and when forest officials visited the spot where the snake was hiding, the villagers had already caught the reptile and put it inside a plastic sack, The forest officials were surprised to have found out that it was the “rarest of rarest snakes", called the Red Cora Kukri Snake. It was soon released in the forest.

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first published:June 30, 2021, 15:42 IST