3,240 Snakes Rescued in City Last Year

Published: 15th March 2015 06:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th March 2015 06:02 AM   |  A+A-

HYDERABAD: As many as 3,240 snakes were rescued in 2014 by the Friends of Snakes Society, an non-governmental organisation, from and around the capital city.

This is due to encroachment of forest land and the snakes have no option but to stray into residential areas.

After rescuing the snakes, they are given medical treatment for some days if they are wounded and later released into the forests.

Snakes.jpgShockingly, about 47 per cent of these snakes were spectacled cobras. The next of the species found and rescued were the Rat snakes, with 1,026 specimens. Overall, the number of venomous snakes rescued were slightly more than non-venomous counterparts. During the same period, the society also rescued 111 wild birds and animals, including kites, parakeets, monitor lizards  and peacocks,in the same period.

In 2013, a total of 2,575 snakes were rescued. In just one year, there has been a significant increase of 25.83 per cent in the incidents of snake sightings and such a steep increase could be attributed to habitat destruction, says Avinash Visvanathan, general secretary, Friends of Snakes Society.

According to the society, a rise in number of snakes rescued compared to previous year could be interpreted as the number of snakes that were saved from being killed and the number of snake-bite related accidents averted. On the same breath, this number also indicates the number of animals displaced due to human activities including land clearances.

“Snakes comes to human habitations in search of either food or shelter. They feed on rats, toads, lizards etc and prefer damp and cooler places around water tanks, wells etc,” explains Visvanathan pointing out that one should not panic if a snake is sighted. According to him, the best way to keep snakes away is to keep the inside and outside of house clean and tidy and also alert FOS volunteers immediately.

Snakes generally try to get into houses only if gardens and surroundings are unclean and if there are dump yards in the vicinity. They prefer cool, dark areas where they can find their food,” he points out.

Currently, the Friends of Snakes Society is able to respond to snake related emergencies in Adilabad, Hyderabad, Karimnagar, Mahabubnagar, Medak, Nizamabad and Rangareddy. As many as 93,135 persons were sensitised through 249 awareness programmes by the society in 2014.

Environmental degradation

In 2013, a total of 2,575 snakes were rescued. In just one year, there has been a significant increase of 25.83 per cent in the incidents of snake sightings and such a steep increase could be attributed to habitat destruction, says Avinash Visvanathan, general secretary, Friends of Snakes Society.

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