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Snake dies, python hurt at zoo

A large python is being taken out of a plastic container at the zoo on Sunday. — File Photo by White Star

KARACHI: One of the snakes that had been brought to the zoo along with 30 other non-venomous reptiles of the same species after being ‘imported’ from the US more than a month ago was found dead on Sunday morning in its enclosure while a python is reportedly injured, sources told Dawn.

A baby snake, a two-foot long male red-tail boa, sources said, reportedly died due to lack of feeding and poor habitat. Mishandling had caused injury to a two-foot-long reticulated python, they added.

No zoo official was available to comment on the species’ death or injury. The administration, however, had earlier admitted that the staff had not been able to feed a python since its arrival and an advice had been sought from animal house experts at the Dow University of Health Sciences.

“We are saddened to see our precious snake dead at the zoo today, though it hasn’t come as a shock as we have been complaining to the zoo administration over the snake habitat and their handling for many weeks,” said Hassan Husain, who along with his friends had brought the snakes to the city.

A baby reticulated python, he said, had suffered a neck injury. “I think it was rashly thrown on the ground after it bit someone,” he said, fearing that if precautions were not adopted more snakes might die as all species were captive breeds and required special handling and proper environment.

An albino python had not yet recovered from skin infection, Mr Hussain said.

A total of 31 species of non-venomous snakes, largely pythons, were brought to Karachi from the US in February without a mandatory import permit.