Indian rescuers get under car in marathon effort to save snake stuck in chassis

Indian rescuers pulled off a Herculean feat to save a snake that was hopelessly trapped under a car on 31 August. Chita Ranjan Baral, a resident of Bhubaneswar in eastern India, got into his car on August 21 and was about to start the engine when a passerby shouted that a snake was trapped under his car. Chita quickly got off and called for help. A rescue team from Snake Helpline went to the spot and saw a 1.5m (5ft)-long non-venomous Indian rat snake dangling from the chassis. The snake was so badly trapped that half its lower body was stuck inside the vehicle. Highly stressed and unable to escape, the snake was aggressively striking at anything that got close. The rescuers lifted the car with the help of a jack and got under it. After struggling to pry out the snake in vain they decided to use coconut oil to lubricate the reptile and the spot around it. A team member, Ashis Behera, held the snake's head to restrain it, while his colleague, Rajesh Sutar worked patiently to gently pull out the snake. During the rescue, Rajesh suffered a cut on his forehead. He said: "When I got under the car the snake lunged at me. I tried to dodge and struck my head on the chassis. But I am happy that we could save the snake." Snake Helpline general secretary Subhendu Mallik, who led the rescue, said: "The snake was trapped in a very awkward position. It was non-venomous, but the rescue was indeed very difficult and nearly took three hours." The snake had suffered just a few superficial cuts and did not need any medical attention. It was released in a suitable natural habitat.

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