The Delhi Forests and Wildlife Department is inserting microchips inside snakes owned by snake charmers in order to give each snake a unique identity (ID).
According to an amendment of 2000 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, privately owned endangered animals can be kept with owners only after declaring them to the state's chief wildlife warden and putting ID marks, like microchips, on them.
Last week 10 snake charmers from Delhi approached the department officials wanting to avail of this facility.
"So far we have inserted microchips in 31 snakes. On Tuesday, 12 more are in line to be identified," said a senior Delhi forest official.
The benefit of microchipping the snakes is that the owners cannot sell them or replace them with other snakes upon death.
"This is aimed at putting a check on illegal animal trade and poaching," he said.
So far snakes of several varieties, such as Sand Boa, Python, Cobra, King Cobra and Rat Snake, among others, have been microchipped.