Serpentine issues

Elsie Gabriel

After a heavy downpour, water seeps into the underground homes of reptiles and amphibians forcing them out into the open. Normally, these creatures do not come on to higher ground and hide immediately if they sense someone approaching. But, during the monsoon, the creatures are unable to find a safe hiding place. Many people are afraid of the very sight of these reptiles and try to harm them in fear.

Sunish Subramanian from the NGO PAWS, an animal welfare group, from Bhandup advises, “Do not panic when you see a snake, they do not harm unless they are provoked. When we receive a call, our rescue teams come to retrieve the snake and then release them in a safe location.”

“After the recent heavy showers, I found several snakes in Bhandup. We have also received many calls from Mulund, Powai and Naval Civil Housing Colony in Kanjur Marg. Most rescued snakes are Russel Vipers and cobras which are venomous. But rat snakes, chequered keel backs and buff striped keel snakes as well as sand boas are not venomous,” adds Subramanian.

Most snakes now found in this city are harmless and non-venomous, which are released far away from residential areas. On an average, the NGO gets two to three calls for us to rescue snakes or birds. However, the animal welfare activist adds a word of caution, “Compounds and gardens in residential areas must be kept free of tall grass, weeds, shrubs, heaps of debris, bamboos, as these are good places for reptiles to hide.”

If you find an animal in distress call
PAWS: 25968314, 9892179542
Bahena: 25673838, 25654949, 9322213877

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