Catching snakes makes his(s) livelihood - The New Indian Express

Catching snakes makes his(s) livelihood

Published: 01st November 2012 11:42 AM

Last Updated: 01st November 2012 11:42 AM

The Tamil saying, ‘Pambendral Padaiyum Nadungum’ (a single serpent can create panic among a big battalion) might be true for most, but not for 40-year-old Munusamy from Athimugam village in Soolagiri.

True to form, when the people of his village spot a slither, they turn to Munusamy. 

“After catching snakes, I don’t kill them, but I safely leave them in the forests as snakes are worshipped as god,” says Soolagiri’s own snake catcher.

“Snakes don’t harm humans. It is only out of fear that human kill reptiles,” he says, while showing, quite ironically, a cobra bite he sustained while trying to rein in the reptile at a house in Athimugam just before Express caught up with him.

But bites have never been a problem for Munusamy “I have a medicine prepared out of herbs. I prepare this medicine on my own and use them when I get snake bite. I have been bitten several times, but nothing has happened,” he laughs.

Relieved customers offer him anywhere between `50 and `100.

What started out as hobby has now become his full-time job, thanks to the increasing number of calls he has been getting from scared customers over the past three years.

1000 snakes

Munusamy claims to have caught, and released safely back into the wild, around 1,000 snakes so far -- a claim endorsed by the residents of Athimugam.

This comes as no surprise, considering that cases of huge pythons and other poisonous snakes, including the black cobra, slithering into houses in villages surrounding the hilly region of Soolagiri has become a very common phenomenon in recent years.

Many trees were chopped in this area, which witnessed widespread deforestation to make way for various development projects, including a six-lane road under the PM’s Golden Quadrilateral Scheme.

With their habitats being taken over, the reptiles often end up as uninvited visitors to these villages, the locals say.

For now, they need not fear, thanks to Munusamy.

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