News from the snake world: the rarest specimen of a reptile has been found in the Caribbean paradise destination of Saint Lucia.

Now, before you panic and start unpacking your travel bag, let us tell you a couple of reassuring facts. Firstly, this endemic serpent has been dubbed the world’s rarest snake because it was thought to be extinct, not because it has seven heads or is the size of an obese anaconda. And secondly – and most importantly the Saint Lucia racer is a tiny non-venomous snake. To be precise, it hasn’t even been found on the main island but in the Maria Islands reserve, just off the south coast of this Caribbean destination.

The rare little brown snake was declared extinct back in 1936, although one was later spotted in the reserve in 1973. Still, the chances of finding a large number of them again weren’t thought to be very high.

But after a thorough search for the evasive snake by a team of international scientists, 11 tiny beasts have been spotted and tagged, according to Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, a British-based organisation that has been working in the snake-hunting project with the Fish and Wildlife Service (USA) and other groups.

“Durrell has been committed to working with Saint Lucia’s most threatened species for the last 30 years and so it was a huge relief to confirm that a population of the racer still survives” said Matthew Morton from Durrell. “But that relief is tempered by the knowledge of how close we still are to losing it forever.”

This is just the latest example of how diverse and rich the wildlife in this corner of the Caribbean is. To book your package holiday to St Lucia contact Kenwood Travel.

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