Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Two smugglers were arrested with red sand boa in Choral Forest Range, Indore on Thursday, an official said.
A local range officer informed the forest department team and State Tiger Strike Force (STSF) team about the matter. The STSF team from the Indore division reached the spot and arrested the smugglers.
According to reports, the smugglers had captured the red sand boa from the outskirts of the city and were planning to sell it for a good amount.
Considered to be one of the most harmless snakes, sand boas are captured because of the superstition that they possess supernatural power.
This is mainly attributed to its ‘double-headed’ appearance for which it is called ‘do muha’ in Hindi. Their appearance has made them a soft target for poaching and illegal trading like owls.
They are used in black magic, and even in the name of esoteric science.
A non-venomous snake, the red sand boa is protected under Schedule IV of the Wild Life Protection Act 1972.
Chief conservator of forest (CCF) HS Mohanta said that the snake had no proven medicinal value and that people were cheated in the name of black magic by tantrics, some of whom even promised showers of money.
Officials running awareness programs in villages often quote ‘If the snakes were to make us rich or powerful, then I guess all the forest officers should be millionaires as we tend to come across boa snakes almost on a daily basis’.