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Inviato da Wes von Papinešu on Maggio 16, 2000 at 19:44:37:
CHUNICHI SHIMBUN (Nagoya, Japan) 30 January 00 Protection of endangered snake is too much to handle
"The White Snake of Iwakuni," a Japanese natural treasure native to Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, was breeding at a much higher rate than expected as a result of the nation's efforts to protect it.
Officials are concerned about a breeding farm which is rapidly becoming overcrowded.
White snakes are albino Japanese rat snakes (called aodaisho in Japanese).
According to a group that works for the preservation of the reptiles, at the end of World War II there were about 2,000 white snakes in Iwakuni City.
However, the number of snakes drastically decreased because of rampant urbanization in the 1960s and 1970s. In response, the city launched a protection program and opened the breeding farm in 1965.
There were about 200 white snakes alive in 1977 and the figure has now increased to 1,000.
Since white snakes are designated as a natural treasure, culling of the species is forbidden. However, it is difficult to increase the facility's capacity because of financial reasons.
It is feared that if the white snakes are returned to the wild they might be captured and traded.
Although it is said that white snakes are the guardian deity of people's houses, it seems that they cannot solve their own housing dilemma.