I found her lying, almost lifeless on highway, when I was driving through a thick forest of the Nallamalla. As I went closer, she moved as if trying to tell me that she was alive and needed help. My knowledge on snakes prompted me that she was the Mountain Python, the rare of its kind…nearly extinct. The little beauty was just a month old or may be even less. I took pity over her and decided that I would keep her as a pet. After all, being a forest officer has its own liberties!
I brought her home, fed her, nursed her – she had a wound on her head, made some space for her in my cramped camp house…it took weeks for all this to happen but then, we became friends. I named her – ‘Suu’. As months passed, she grew in size, I knew that Suu could grow up to ten feet in length.
Suu filled my lonely life with her friendly hissing. During the day, she liked to be left alone. she lived life on her own terms, she crawled freely around the house, caught and ate any mice, drank water from a bowl that I had arranged for the purpose, when the bowl was empty, she positioned herself around the bowl and hissed differently. During the night, Suu often coiled herself to one of my legs or to my arms. This way she displayed intimacy towards me. I knew she liked me too…
She had never posed to be a danger to me and nor did I intrude in her life.
One night, I woke up with a severe pain in my left arm. It was Suu. she had coiled me tight enough that the supply of blood to my arm got effected. It seemed that Suu realized my unease and instantly released the pressure. Since then, the coiling had started becoming a problem to me. at times, she would coil one of my thighs, at times my feet, once, she tried my chest…This behavior had started troubling me. I decided that I would consult Viren, the Snake specialist, who was then researching in the Amazon forests. I found out his email and shot him a message explaining my problem. A day later, Viren replied.
“Mountain Pythons are slow but progressive by nature. They tend to study their surroundings by coiling themselves around the subjects. Doing so, they measure the subject. They see if the subject could be a suitable prey so that they can swallow it fully.”