This Article is From May 19, 2014

Russell's Viper Gives Birth to 35 Young Ones

Russell's Viper Gives Birth to 35 Young Ones
Krishnagiri: A Russell's Viper, one of the most venomous snakes in the world, has given birth to 35 young ones near a veterinary doctor's house at Hosur in the district, forest department officials said yesterday.

Unlike other oviparious reptiles which lay eggs, the Russell's Viper gives birth to young ones.

The officials said S Saravanan (45), a veterinary doctor attached to Tamil Nadu government cattle farm in Mathigiri near Hosur, spotted the snake near his house, managed to trap it as he has experience in handling snakes and found it pregnant.

"It is a prolific breeder and litters of 20 are common though there may be fewer offspring, even as little as one, he said.

The Guinness world record for the maximum number in a single litter is 65.

The doctor recalled that in June 2011, a Russell's Viper in Bannerghatta Park in Bangalore gave birth to 53 snakes in one litter, which was the highest number in India.

Asked what he planned to do with the viper and its litter, he said he would release them in the reserve forest near Mathigiri in a couple of days.