Snakes are pets to him

Snakes are pets to him

Dinesh, who is an animal caretaker by profession, loves ophidia and understands them better than any herpetologists and scientists. He is not scared to lift and hold even a 14 feet-long king cobra or any other venomous snakes like cobra, viper, krait etc., despite the fact that he was bitten by snakes five times in his 18 years of experience as a snake lover.

Dinesh, a native of Adkathbail in Kasaragod, developed passion for snakes at the age of 12. His endurance and firmness in decision could turn him into an expert snake caretaker. He had to overcome opposition from his parents and family members when he started catching snakes when he was a school boy.

Sharing his experiences with City Herald, he said, “during my childhood, I too had a fear in my mind about snakes. Once I got fever due to the shock after seing a snake when I was a child. Later, I started thinking about it deeply. A question raised in my mind as to why people cannot live harmoniously with snakes, which are also living creatures like human beings.”

He narrated an incident which instilled enthusiasm towards snakes in him when he was a student of 7th standard. “I saw a viper on my way back to home, but many people who gathered there did not have courage to go near it. At the same time, I confidently went and caught it. However, when I took the snake home with an intention of rearing it, my parents objected and asked me to dispose it. Still I went ahead and arranged separate cages to care snakes,” he said.

Knowing this, many neighbours and friends started visiting his house and later Dinesh became popular in his place as a snake lover.  Dinesh had learnt the basics of herpetology from well-known snake expert in Kasaragod, late Mahendran, who had a huge collection of snakes with him. The experience and knowledge he acquired from Mahendran helped him in securing the job of snake caretaker in Dr Shivarama Karantha Biological Park in Pilikula 12 years ago and still continues to serve in the centre.  

Risky job

Recalling his experience, Dinesh asserts that the job of a snake caretaker involves more risk than any other profession. “I was bitten by snakes five times in my life and even the doctors did not have hopes, when a viper bit me two months ago. However, I came back to life after a few days of coma stage in hospital,” he explained.  

However, he still believes that even poisonous snakes are harmless and it attacks human beings only as a self-defence. Dinesh rushes to any spot anytime, whenever people call him directly or through the park authorities, to rescue snakes.

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