Bhubaneswar :- A gang of Jungle Babler birds hunted a juvenile rat snake down in Bhubaneswar. Sanjib Das the staff photographer of Times of India while waking in his terrace garden was attracted by some unusual sound of birds. He then found 2-3 Jungle Babbler birds attacking a rat snake of one and half ft length. The snake was desperately trying to move away from the birds, but the birds repeatedly pulling down the snake and hitting its head with their beaks. Soon over a dozen of other Jungle Babblers join in the attack and they all fearlessly hitting the snake all along its body. Soon the poor snake died, but before they swallow the snake, here comes a twist in the story. A cat came to the spot, it too attracted by the loud noise made by a Babler gang. Seeing the cat, the birds flew from the site.
Sanjib shot some videos and photos in his mobile. He could not risk to go inside and fetch his SLR to shoot. The entire hunting process was fast and the snake was killed within 10 minutes.
Subhendu Mallik, General Secretary of Snake Helpline said “This is perhaps the first case of Jungle Babbler killing a rat snake in the world. Earlier the same birds were recorded to kill a Common trinket snake in 2019 in Gujarat.” In Gujarat 4 Babblers effected the snake hunting whereas, here in Bhubaneswar a bigger group of 12 Babblers hunted as a gang. This observation is a unique case of bird behaviour which demonstrates social obligations where a group of birds joined hands to fight out the danger.