Hisss story: busting serpentine myths

A documentary, Defanged: Myths & Misconceptions, highlights common misconceptions about snakes

Published: 22nd June 2019 06:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd June 2019 06:40 AM   |  A+A-

(From left) Gowri Shankar, Trishala Ashok and Abhilash Krishna

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The fear of snakes is one of the most common phobias that haunt several world over. Which is why a group of Bengaluru filmmakers decided to highlight common misconceptions on snakes in the ecosystem through a documentary – Defanged: Myths & Misconceptions – produced by the Karnataka Forest Department. The film by Eyeris media in collaboration with Kalinga Foundation.  

Director Abhilash Krishna, herpetologist Gowri Shankar and wildlife enthusiast Trishala Ashok who have worked on the documentary for the last eight months take us through the nineteen-minute film’s making. “Snakes are probably the most misunderstood creatures in the animal kingdom. The idea was to allay fears and dispel these myths by talking about their natural habitat,” said director Krishna.

While cultural beliefs have a played a significant role on the propaganda of the negative aspects surrounding snakes, ignorance, on the other hand, has resulted in deaths over the course of time. Through the film, the trio is hoping to create awareness which can prevent mishaps to a great extent. “I have talked about the subject at great length in the past but it always seemed to reach a limited number. This documentary increases the reach and also raises awareness in the right aspect. There are fifteen lethal species of snakes in India but only four amount to the most number of deaths. These would be Indian cobra (Naja naja), common krait ( Bungarus caeruleus), Rusell’s Viper (daboia ruselli), Saw scaled viper (Echis). By creating awareness we are educating the people on how to react when they come in contact with one, killing the creature out of panic can be avoided,” said Shankar.

According to sources, the Nag Panchami festival is one of the most celebrated but a lot of people are unaware about the obvious fact that snakes are not mammals and do not consume milk. “Misconceptions such as this have to be debunked to a great extent. The message we aim to send out is the very simple one of awareness. It can impact a very positive change,”  said Ashok.

Defanged: Myths & Misconceptions will be screened on  June 22 at 4pm, at Xavier Hall,St. Joseph College.  The screening is followed by a panel discussion with Punati Sridhar, (PCCF-- Prinicpal Chief Conservator Of Forests), Gowri Shankar, Sandesh Kaur (wildlife filmmaker), Sairam Sagiraju (film maker) and Abhilash Krishna

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