Forest wing joins NGO to curb violence against snakes

Author: Mohammed Hussain

Hyderabad: Ahead of the Nagapanchanami, the Telangana State Forest Department officials conducted a meeting with a city-based NGO and wildlife activists in order to prevent the usage of a live cobra during the festival.

Forest officials are planning to set up awareness posters at all Lord Shiva temples across the city along with helpline numbers. “For Nagpanchami, snakes catchers capture poisonous snakes and stitch their mouths in order to prevent snake bites.

A few catchers even defang them or remove venom glands, leading to the death of the snake,” said Friends of Snake society member Arun Kumar in a presentation at the Telangana Forest Office on Monday.

The forest department along with Friends of Snakes society released awareness posters on how snakes are killed during the festival. A poster that displays 14 snake species including the big four venomous snakes have also been released.

Apart from the big four snakes which include common krait Russel’s viper, saw-scaled viper and spectacled cobra, the poster also includes 10 nonvenomous snakes which are commonly sighted in the state.

“Not just temples, every school, gram panchayat offices shall receive these posters so that people can learn the importance of snakes With the help of these posters, students can identify if the snake is venomous,” said Telangana Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) PK Jha.

“In 2008, over 200 snakes were rescued, while in 2018, the number was merely 14. The number shall come down to zero, and this practice shall be eradicated not only in Telangana but across the country,” added PK Jha.

If people find snakes in human inhabitations or have reported live snakes during Nagpanchami, they can contact Telangana Forest Department on 1800-425-5364 or Friends of Snakes Society at 837 423 3366.

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