Indian conservationist breaks record by successfully incubating 64 water snakes

An Indian conservationist worked for 22 days to successfully hatch a clutch of checkered keelback snake eggs. Sixty-four of 72 snake eggs bore live babies with just six eggs going to waste. Subhendu Mallik, founder of Snake Helpline, said: “If the nesting place is disturbed, the eggs usually fail to hatch on their own. We are thrilled that we could help so many snakes survive.” A resident of Puri district in eastern India discovered a four-foot-long snake with a clutch of eggs on March 14. The snake was quickly rescued and the eggs were handed to local forest officials who in turn requested Mallik try to incubate the eggs artificially. Mallik determined that the prevailing room temperature and humidity in his office were ideal to hatch the eggs and kept them in a safe place under round-the-clock vigil. On 5 April 2021, the 21st day of incubation, the eggs began to hatch and by the next day, a total of 64 babies had emerged. All the tiny snakes were later released in a nearby natural habitat by the forest officials.