Thursday, January 14, 2016

Urban wild Life - Sand Boa

Last night when I stopped the car in front of our house, the head lights picked up a long sluggish creature crawling on the road. I knew that it was a snake but was surprised at the slow movement. Snakes do not come out for a leisurely walk. I went closer. It was a snake alright but a Sand Boa. Since I am much more evolved now as a naturalist than what I was decades back, I did not pick up a stick to beat it’s life out of it but took out my mobile phone to get some pictures.  I hope that I will evolve further and when I find the next snake, will be able to suppress the urge to take pictures, switch off the head lights and leave the snake in peace.

This is how it looked right in the glare of head lights. More shadow, less Sand Boa.  
I  changed the angulation and a helpful passer by focused the light from his mobile on it's head while goading me to go closer assuring me that the snake is harmless. Good intentions but bad results.
This time however I got some pictures while a passerby focused the light from his mobile phone on the snake. while I was dancing around the snake, my wife ran inside to get the camera, did not find it, shouted from the balcony, got my reply, ran down the stairs without tripping and breaking her bones, found the camera in the clinic and brought it. By then the Sand Boa had crossed the road, moved along the border of my neighbour’s compound and was just about to get into a hole. Still, I did get most of it in my camera and so you are able to see how it looked without the shadow play.

Somewhat better picture after the snake moved away from the glare of head lights. 
This is how it really looks. It is headless but since the head and tail look alike in a Sand Boa, you did not miss much.
I do not know if you have a seen a Sand Boa live. It actually looks and behaves like an overgrown earth worm. I understand that it lives by eating rodents, lizards and other snakes. I also understand that coming under the wheels is a major cause of It's death. I fail to understand how it manages to catch a rat or a lizard unless they have suicidal tendencies. But obviously, nature has provided. And till date this Boa has been lucky to cross roads without getting under a wheel. Luck be with you Sand Boa!


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