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Russell's viper gives birth to 36 baby snakes

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

A snake, that was caught from in and held for its venom at a research institute here, has given birth to 36 offspring.

The female gave birth to baby at the for Training, (HITRT) here last week, a top of the institute said today.

The is among the two institutes permitted to keep for extracting their venom.

The litter range of this species of snake is about 20- 30 at a time, said Nishigandha Naik, of the institute.

"The snake was brought to our institute on July 1 and and delivered 36 hatchlings on July 5. The snake giving birth to offspring in excess means the snake has been handled and fed well," Naik told

Besides the HITRT, the based in is the only institute in the country permitted to keep for their venom.

Naik said the currently has 65 snakes in holding - 33 cobras, 24 Russell's vipers, 5 kraits and 3 Pit vipers.

"Snakes are kept (at the institute) for a maximum of 90 days, after which they are released from where they are caught.

"Once we catch them, their health is checked and they are quarantined. We start milking them after five days," she said, adding the extracted venom is then supplied to institutions making anti-snake venoms.

Quoting data from the (WHO), Naik said 3 lakh Indians suffer from snake bites every year, of which 50,000 people die.

"The WHO states that 1.5 per cent (of the victims) suffer from severe deformity. Most of the snake bite victims work in farms and forests, among other places," Naik said.

The WHO has put snake bites on top in the category of neglected tropical diseases, she said.

"One person dies (due to snake bite) every 10.5 minutes in India, which is the highest in the world. In India, top the list of snake bite victims," she said.

Maharashtra, and account for 25 per cent of the total snake bite cases in the country, she said.

"Snake bites have become a grave (health) issue because the availability of anti-snake venoms is scarce," Naik said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, July 13 2018. 15:20 IST