A black-banded trinket, a species of rat snakes, was found near Lawacherra National Forest in Moulvibazar. A stunningly beautiful creature, this was the first time it was discovered alive in the country.
Swapan Deb Sojol, director of the Sreemangal Wildlife Services Foundation, told this correspondent the snake was found in the house of a tea worker in Gillacherra area of Jagcherra tea garden in Sreemangal. Upon information, officials from the Sreemangal Wildlife Services Foundation rescued it on December 31.
After receiving treatment at Bangladesh Wildlife Service Foundation, the snake was released in Janokicherra area under Lawacherra reserved forest on January 4.
At the time, the rescuers had no idea that this snake had not been discovered alive in the country before, although it is distributed across Southeast Asia.
Wildlife expert Dr M Monirul H Khan and Dr. Kamrul Hossain visited Sreemangal Wildlife Services Foundation in Moulvibazar on January 4 and correctly identified the snake.
Monirul, professor of the zoology department at Jahangirnagar University, told this correspondent that back in 2013, the remains of the snake were found for the first time in the forests of Lawacherra. Later, another dead black-banded trinket was found in the same area in 2016. There are no recorded sightings of the snake anywhere else in the country.
Tabibur said the snake is classified as vulnerable in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
Dr Kamrul Hossain, professor of the zoology department at Jahangirnagar University told this correspondent, there is not much information in Bangladesh about this snake as it is not found anywhere else in the country. However, the snake occurs in other Southeast Asian countries. These include India, Myanmar, Bhutan, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal, South China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The colour of a mature trinket snake is a bright red or orange with light black bands on the body. A terrestrial species, it prefers cool climates thus restricting its distribution to hills and mountain plateaus. It is known to be crepuscular, active during the late evenings till night and from dawn till late mornings.