Mumbai, July 12: A female snake of Russell’s viper (Daboia) species, rescued from Pune's Baramati region earlier and housed at Mumbai's Haffkine Institute for research, training and testing has recently delivered baby snakes, as per the news reports. Doctor Nishigandha Naik, the director of the Haffkine Institute, said that almost two months ago they had rescued two female Russell’s vipers, one from Baramati and a rare albino variety from Turbhe. “We had rescued the Russell’s vipers to prepare anti-venom for research. But as one rescued from Baramati was pregnant, we kept her in an incubated box. Last week, she gave birth to 36 babies in the serpentarium of our institute," she was quoted in a Free Press Journal report.
The institute doctors added that they would keep the baby snakes in their institute until they get fit and later they will be released in the forest-- their natural habitat-- along with their mother.
The doctor mentioned in the report that unlike other snakes, Russell’s viper species snakes do not lay eggs but give birth to live young ones, which increases their chances of survival as compared to other snakes who hatch from eggs. Also, as soon as they are born, they are poisonous. Hence, they are independent from the day one, the doctor added.
As per the reports in India, around 3 lakh snake bites cases are reported every year, with as many as 50,000 deaths. The World Health Organization (WHO) data also shows that around one lakh snake bite victims also suffer from permanent deformity.