| An employee of the forest department holds up the dead python. Picture by Anirban Choudhury
Alipurduar, June 25: A 9-ft-long python died when it got entangled in a high-tension wire here last night, resulting in an 8-hour power cut in parts of the town and nearby areas.
The python had somehow entered a bamboo bush at New Sovagunj in Ward 17 of the Alipurduar Municipality and climbed to the top of a bamboo tree. Unable to bear its weight, the tree bent down, bringing the snake in contact with an overhead high-tension (11,000 volts) wire.
The resulting short-circuit killed the python and lights went out in more than 600 houses in the ward and the adjacent gram panchayat areas of Chaporerpar I and II in Alipurduar Block II.
Residents said it was around 2.30 am when the power cut began.
Ramesh Roy, who lives in New Sovagunj, found the dead python hanging from the wire this morning, around five. I was out for my morning walk when I saw it. I immediately called my neighbours and the electricity office was informed, said Roy.
Employees of the electricity department brought down the python and informed forest officials. The mobile unit of Buxa Tiger Reserve (west) reached the spot soon after and took the dead python to Rajabhatkhawa where it will be burnt after a post-mortem.
Electricity in the area was restored around 11 am. It took us some time to get the dead python down and repair the line, said Shibesh Deb, the Alipurduar divisional engineer of WBSEB.
Forest officials believe that the python probably came from the Nonai river, which flows past the spot.
It is a rare species and listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act (endangered species), said A.P. Singh, the deputy field director of Buxa Tiger Reserve (west).