BHUBANESWAR: The officials of Forest Department on Tuesday apprehended a West Bengal native for exhibiting a rare ornate flying snake near the railway station here. Raju Mahato (19) of Asansol came to Bhubaneswar around three months back and used to visit different areas exhibiting the snake to earn a few bucks. On Monday, he put the snake on exhibit near railway station when some locals informed Honourary Wildlife Warden Subhendu Mallick.
Mallick rushed to the spot and apprised Forest Department about the matter. Mahato was taken to forest range office in Mancheswar under Bhubaneswar forest division.“The snake was recovered from Mahato and a case registered against him under Sections 9, 31 and 51 of Wildlife Protection Act and Section 22 of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,” a Forest Department official said.
Initial investigation suggests that Mahato has not sold any such reptile in the State so far, forest officials said.“Scientifically known as Chrysopelea ornata, flying snakes are one of the rarest species of a serpent which actually cannot fly but derive their name from the ability to easily glide between trees. They are about 115 cm to 130 cm long and are found in dense forests of Odisha,” Mallick said. The ornate flying snakes, which are in high demand in the country and abroad, are mildly venomous and very attractive reptiles. Those are kept as pets at homes.