Entry of snakes into human habitations causes concern

 With the recent rains, snakes have resurfaced in most of the areas across the city and increasing incidents of poisonous snakes being rescued is proving to be a cause for concern.

Snakes that used to live in holes in sub-soils because of the rainwater have surfaced and it was quite common to seem them as in the case of any reptiles, says forest officials.

Of late, incidents of snakes being beaten to death have come down and people have started calling the Forest Department, snake charmers and professional snake handlers besides NGOs offering such a service.

This increased awareness has given an impression that population of snakes were on the rise in human habitations, pointed out District Forest Officer V. Thirunavukkarasu.

Very rarely, snakes harm human beings, i.e., when people stamp on it or provoke it. Forest officials say that there are three types of snakes - non-venomous, least venomous and most venomous. Pythons are spotted very rarely in human habitations. With regard to snakes found in human habitations in the recent past, Russell’s Viper, cobras, spectacled cobra, and branded kraits are venomous, while rat snakes are non-venomous and green snakes are least venomous.

Mr. Thirunavukkarau advised the public to seek the services of Forest Department by calling District Forest Office at 0422-256911 or the NGOs rendering snake rescue as a service.

With regard to rescue of snakes, there are two things that the public need to be cautious about. People catching/ rescue snakes for a hefty service charge and this was fast becoming a trade or a racket. There were instances of people demanding hefty sum as service charge. There are also instances of people rescuing snakes for the sake of publicity.

The department has minimum number of personnel tried in rescuing a snake and the Fire and Rescue Services Department also has firemen trained in commando operations and snake rescue. Their services could be availed.

Mr. Thirunavukkarasu said given the number of increasing snake rescues, it has been proposed to organise a training programme to have more number of forest personnel in the rank of watchers and guards trained in handling snakes to have a force ready in every forest range to render service to the public without fleecing them.
Source: The Hindu

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