kanha-national-park

Reptiles in Kanha National Park

indian-python-kanhaKanha has over 26 species of reptiles though they are not easy to see as they inhabit the undergrowth, or the rocky beds of rivers, Lizards that you are likely to see in Kanha are the Indian monitor lizard ( Varanus bengalensis), garden lizard ( calotes versicolor), fan - throated lizard ( Sitana ponticeriana ), flying lizard ( Draco dussumieri ) and chameleon ( Chamaeleon zeylanicas ).

The largest snake found in Kanha is the Indian Roack Python ( python molurus ). It is massively built, hte maximum length recorded being nearly six metres and is easily indentifiable. it is a good climber and swimmer but generally quite lethargic. It feeds on birds, reptiles, small mammals and, sometimes, even chital. once the prey is swallowed it takes a rather long time for the python to digest it during which time it more or less remains stationary.

Other snakes found in Kanha NationalPark are cobra ( Naja Naja ), Saw-scaled viper ( Echis carinatus ), wolf snake ( Lycoson aulicus ), rat snake ( Ptyas mucosus) and egg-eating snake ( Elachistodon westermanni), In fact all the four main poisonous snakes of India - the russell's viper, saw - scaled viper, viper, cobra and common krait - are found in Kanha.

The Indian Cobra: Forms its hood by spreading the cervical ribs of the neck region and is deadly poisonous. It spreads its hood, makes a hissing sound and raises its head when alarmed. It is frequently found in or near water and is a strong swimmer. Eclectic in habit and absent in deserts and hills above 1800 m., it is usually not aggressive; the young-ones though, are much more dangerous than adults, being more easily excited and prone to attack. Feeds mostly on rats, frogs, toads and is an invetarate egg-stealer. Cobra bite is not always fatal, cases of recovery equaling, if not exceeding, cases of death.

rusell's viper kanhaRussel's viper : The Russel's viper is thick with a body measuring up to 5 feet. Unlike the krait and the cobra, the fangs are long and foldable. It is nocturnal and deadly poisonous.

Krait : Two species The Common Indian Krait and the Banded Krait occur in the Park. The common krait is slow moving but extremely poisonous and is frequently found near or in water. Bites only on provocation but cases are known of people sleeping on ground being bitten when unknowingly rolling on or placing a limb in their sleep on a krait moving nearby. Venom is more toxic than that of Cobra and usually fatal. The banded krait is much less poisonous, nocturnal and very rarely sighted.
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