Experts race to protect 'extinct' snake

2012-07-11 14:01
This picture shows a Saint Lucia racer snake at an undisclosed location in St Lucia. (Gregory Guida, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, AP)

This picture shows a Saint Lucia racer snake at an undisclosed location in St Lucia. (Gregory Guida, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, AP)

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San Juan - A Caribbean snake that scientists had declared extinct long ago has been found living in a nature reserve on a tiny isle just off the island of St Lucia.

A British-based conservation group says international scientists spotted and tagged at least 11 St Lucia racers in the Maria Islands reserve.

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust said that scientists estimate 18 snakes live on the reserve and that they will have to be bred elsewhere to ensure their future.

Durrell also called the St Lucia racer the world's rarest snake, but some scientists disputed the claim, saying it is impossible to know how many rare snakes really exist.

The affable brown snake was declared extinct in 1936, although sightings have been reported on rare occasions.
Read more on:    animals

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