HYDERABAD: As ferocious and dangerous they might look, the sight of a venomous spectacled cobra or a long rat snake is sure to send a chill down the spine of many. The fear of sighting snakes has been, of late, gripping several residents and software professionals residing in and around the IT corridor.
With a plethora of gated communities, residential towers and IT companies concentrated in this region, bumping into snakes and risking a venomous bite is not uncommon in these areas, say snake rescuers and residents.
“There are instances of snakes being sighted and in such instances we inform the facilities manager who, in turn, informs snake rescuers,” said Akella Sriram, owner of a flat in Rainbow Vistas @ Rock Garden, a residential gated community. “We are scared of sending our children out for playing because there is always the fear of snake bites. Only after they are rescued do we feel relieved,” he added.
At another opulent gated community on the Green Hills Road in Moosapet, snakes are common and regular visitors to the 111 villas there. “We have rescued a cobra just last month by the help of a rescuer from one of the villas inside. We sight and rescue about 20 snakes every year,” said the security guard.
It may be noted that the area was converted to a residential space only in the past decade and there are several remains of rocks, thick green fields and construction sites around the area.
Madhapur, Kondapur, Kukatpaly, Gachibowli and Hitec City are the areas where we rescue a lot of snakes, said Avinash Vishwanath, general secretary, Friends of Snakes Society. “About 25 per cent of snakes are rescued from those areas. There are a lot of gated communities which ask us to catch snakes,” he said. Interestingly, tech companies have in-house snake rescuing teams. “There are about eight members who are always on the run to find the presence of snakes and relocate them to a different place,” said a security in-charge, of a popular industrial park at the heart of Hitec City.
‘Snakes need to be rehabilitated before relocation’
“Several snakes do not venture into residential areas because their natural habitat is destroyed for the purpose of construction of buildings. In such cases, they move to the nearest place where there is debris of construction material or where garbage is piled up,” said Dr Karthikeyan Vasudevan, Senior Principal Scientist, LaCONES - CCMB.
But, such snakes are let out into areas which are not their natural habitat, he added. “They need to be rehabilitated before being let out into any new place, otherwise, there is a danger of conflict between other big snakes that stay in that area,” he observed.
‘Highest number of snakes rescued from Gachibowli’
A total of about 100 snakes were caught in January and February. The highest number of snakes rescued were in Gachibowli (18), followed by Miyapur (17) and Jubilee Hills (9). Spectacled Cobra, Rat Snake, Bronzeback Tree Snake, Common Sand Boa, Rusell’s Viper, Checkered Keelback, Indian Rock Python, Branded Racer, and Banded Kukri were the snakes rescued from these areas. The rescued snakes are usually relocated to reserved forest areas in Narsapur and Vikarabad by FOSS.
Data provided by Friends of Snakes Society