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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The death of an adult python due to cruelty during a 'rescue operation' in the Dampada range of the Chandka forest on the outskirts of the State capital, has invited sharp reaction from animal activists who demanded immediate action against the perpetrators.

The General Secretary of Snake Helpline, a leading reptile rescue body, Subhendhu Mallik has urged the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Crime Branch to bring all those responsible for the killing of the hapless snake inside the forest range on the pretext of rescuing it.

In his letter to the ADGP, Mallik mentioned it was pointless to rescue the python which was well inside the restricted areas of the Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary.

Narrating the incident Mallik said on Friday locals near the Chandaka-Damapada wildlife sanctuary spotted a 10 feet long Indian python inside the restricted area of the forest and informed the forest department to rescue the snake.

The python was immobile as it had gulped down an animal. Few locals jumped on the spot and tried to capture the python.

As per sources, two forest watchers from the Damapada forest range reached the spot to rescue the Python as no officials from the department was present at the office.

By the time the forest watchers reached the spot, locals had dragged the 10 ft long reptile on the ground from the forest to the village on the outskirts of the forest.

Mallik also alleged that the reckless watchers stood over the struggling Python in order to control its movement and tied the neck and the body with some creepers, causing death of the reptile by suffocation.

This instance of cruelty to animals comes close on the hills of such an incident that was reported in Buguda in Ganjam where locals tied up a leopard after capturing in a rescue operation. The leopard died afterwards.

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