hi INDiA
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Python shocker for devotees in Mathura

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Agra, Oct 21 (IANS) Panic gripped devotees gathered at Vishram Ghat along the Yamuna river in Mathura for a holy dip on the occasion of "Bhai Dooj" on Saturday as they spotted a strange intruder — a large python — in their midst.

Though it did not cause any harm to them, devotees immediately alerted the Forest Department, who in turn informed Wildlife SOS, a conservation non-profit organisation.

Wildlife SOS dispatched a team of two snake rescuers to the location, who carefully shifted the python to a snake transport carrier. The python is about six-feet-long and weighed about 20 kg. It has been kept under observation.

Baiju Raj M.V., the NGO Director for Conservation Projects, said: "The Yamuna river is rich in biodiversity and is home to some unique wildlife species, such as Indian Rock Pythons.

"As pythons are excellent swimmers, they prefer living close to water bodies. However, they are under constant threat due to continuous expansion of human habitation and rapid deforestation."

Often the plight of urban wildlife is dismissed because city dwellers consider them to be a nuisance and they are often met with hostility.

Wildlife SOS works towards changing this attitude and sensitising the public to the presence of urban wildlife.