Two held by forest officials for trying to sell red sand boa snake online
1 March 2018

India: Two persons were apprehended by the Telangana forest department officials on Wednesday for trying to sell a red sand boa snake, popularly known as ‘two-headed snake’, online.
The arrested included Uday Kumar and Ramesh from Tandur Mandal in Vikarabad district. They had advertised on the Internet that they had a red sand boa snake for sale.
Members of the Wildlife Protection Society, who saw the advertisement online, had alerted the forest department officials about it.  

The anti-poaching squad of the forest department approached the accused posing as potential buyers at a hotel in Shamshabad area. The accused along with the snake were nabbed on Tuesday night.
The accused had captured the red sand boa in Bandagonda village in Mahbubnagar district.  Uday Kumar is the main accused, and Ramesh had merely accompanied Uday, forest officials said.
It is fifth such seizure in the past one month. Earlier in the month, the snake species was rescued from Begumpet, Medchal, Malakpur etc.

“Red sand boa is also called two-headed since its tail resembles the head.
It uses its tail as defence mechanism against predators,” A Shankaran, officer on Special duty, Wildlife Cell, said.

The rare red sand boa snakes fetch a huge price in the illegal wildlife market due to the belief that it brings luck to its owner. Officials could not reveal the name of the website where the accused had posted an advertisement.

Offences like poaching, capturing, illegal trading of red sand boa attracts imprisonment up to three years and fine up to Rs 25,000 under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Officials urged people to report about any illegal sale of the snake species by dialling 18004255364.

(Source: The New Indian Express)