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|February 12, 1999||
Who would guess that a few boxes abandoned on the Salem-Bangalore highway could contain live snakes -- that too, 500 of 'em?
Villagers living near the Toppur Ghat road in Tamil Nadu's Dharmapuri district were shocked to see the deadly consignment slithering out as they opened the boxes. According to reports, most villagers fled the scene. Some of the brave stayed behind and beat to death 10 snakes. But many of the reptiles escaped into the nearby forest before forest department personnel arrived to capture a few, including a huge python.
District forest officials said snake smugglers may have abandoned the boxes, fearing the vigil on the state border.
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