BHUBANESWAR: Kindness of residents, timely response from snake helpline, and appropriate treatment by OUAT veterinarians helped a gravid Cobra get a new lease of life. The incident happened on Thursday when the residents of Bank Colony in Old Town saw a stranger dragging the cobra from a slum situated along a railway line near the colony and informed the Snake Helpline for help.
Volunteer of the helpline Arun Barala, who rushed to the spot, found that the reptile’s mouth was glued and it was unable to open it. The snake was also struggling to expand its hood properly. Snake Helpline founder Subhendu Mallik who later tried to open the mouth failed in doing so and was confirmed the use of synthetic glue to seal its mouth. After keeping the snake in care, Subhendu on Friday morning took the cobra to the Veterinary Surgery and Radiology department of OUAT for treatment.
Professor of OUAT Indramani Nath, who took X-ray to see if there was any bone injury, found that the Cobra was containing eggs in its abdomen. Prof Nath and his team gently dipped the Cobra’s head in lukewarm water mixed with lemon juice. As the process helped in removing the glue from the edges of the mouth of the snake, it was continued further to remove the glue flakes from inside its mouth.
“We used lemon juice because it contains citric acid that helped in removing the synthetic glue easily. We saw remarkable improvement as the Cobra immediately started flicking it’s tongue. We will release the snake into wild after one day observation,” said Prof Nath. Mallik said the act of sealing the mouth of the Cobra using glue was intentional. This was willfully done to use the cobra in religious rituals. We strongly condemn this act which a violation of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Forest department must arrest those involved in such a heinous act,” he said.