When we went to meet Gundappa Master, at Tumkur, he told us that a
BRONZEBACK TREE SNAKE
had also been rescued from a villager’s house. The villager was very scared and worried that it was a venomous snake, and wanted to kill it, so it was taken away for release in the forest.
We only witnessed the release; we did not want to touch the snake as it was already rather distressed.
Gundappa Master opens the bag, after we reached the interior of the Devarayana Durga State Forest, well away from the road:
He puts it on a tree:
While giving the snake a little time to calm down, we take our shots:
Long, slender, smooth-scales.
Head distinctly broader than neck; snout bluntly rounded.
Large eyes have round pupils.
Tail very long, thin and wire-like.
This species has a dark blue tongue.
The snake’s blue eyes mean that it is at the beginning of ecdysis…the process of shedding its old skin. At this time, the reptile’s vision is not good, and it would like to be undisturbed.
Diurnal. Arboreal; inhabits low bushes, thorn trees, indian date palms, and palmyra.
Feeds on frogs, garden lizards, geckos and small birds, even entering thatched houses to feed.
Notched sharply defined edges of belly scales help it climb.
Females lay 6-8 long, thin eggs in tree holes and rotting vegetation.
Nervous disposition, if cornered, some will strike repeatedly while expanding forebody to show light blue/white color at lower edge of each scale.
The blue scales showing on the back also show that it is distressed.
In this shot, the blue scales on the back (that only show when the snake is in distress) are not showing. The snake is definitely calmer.
Here we are, photographing it while it collects itself:
The snake then quickly drops to the ground, once again showing the blue scales of distress:
The snake then slithers off over the rocks, and is gone.
Both Gundappa Master, and we (Chandu, Gopal, Yash and I) hope our release is a successful one and that this beautiful, non-venomous snake has a long life….