Busy season for snake rescuers

Busy season for snake rescuers

Bengaluru neighbourhoods are reporting increased sightings, and BBMP’s rescuers are getting about 100 calls a day

Rescuer Deepak S with a king cobra found inside a home in RR Nagar.

Work has been hectic for wildlife rescuers, with increased snake sightings in several neighbourhoods in Bengaluru.

While it is the breeding season for the reptile, the rains and the lockdowns encouraged them this past month to venture out in the open.

Deepak S, wildlife rescuer, BBMP, has been rescuing 10 to 12 snakes a day. Before the lockdown, the number was between three and five. “If we take all rescuers into account, we save about 500 snakes a day across Bengaluru,” he told Metrolife.

The rescuers identify the snakes and release them in the wild. “We free them into the forest near Bangalore University or in abandoned land at least 10 acres away from human habitation,” he explains. People can call individual snake rescuers or the BBMP control room in case of sightings. “We reach the location in less than 20 minutes,” he says.

It is the breeding season for snakes. They lay 20 to 25 eggs at a time. When they hatch, you spot many baby snakes, says Gowri Shankar, herpetologist. “The lack of movement on the streets and the prolonged silence encourage serpents to come out,” he told Metrolife.

Only when you trouble or accidentally step on a snake does it bite you in shock. Otherwise, it just slithers away the moment it is spotted, he explains.

Many hospitals are reporting increased snakebite cases. “We are treating three snake bites a week,” says Dr T R Hemkumar, consultant at a private hospital. “Krait, cobra and non-venomous water snakes are mostly involved,” he says. Prasanna, wildlife warden, Bengaluru Urban District, says the BBMP control room gets 90 to 100 calls reporting snake sightings every day.

Eco imbalance

Prasanna asks people to contact rescuers only if a snake is found inside a home. “If they are found outside, let them be. They will go away,” he says.

Taking away and releasing all snakes in the forest will cause ecological imbalance because most of Bengaluru’s pest control is done by them, he states.

Watch out

Sightings are on the rise on the outskirts of the city, and in Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Dasarahalli, Nagarabhavi, JP Nagar, Sarjapura, Jayanagar and Vidyaranyapura.

Helpline

BBMP rescue team 2222 1188, 1926, 99027 94711

Commonly spotted 

Cobra

Rat snake

Watersnake

Russell’s Viper

Trinket

Snakebite?

· Wash the area with soap.
· Try identifying the type of snake.
. Get medical attention right away.
· Avoid drinking coffee or alcohol.

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