Hyderabad: Human-snake conflict is an everyday issue in cities such as Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Trouble is, the number of calls goes up as cities expand.
Conflict with snakes has always existed. However, in the last decade or so, with the advent of social media, people’s tolerance of snakes has dropped. India loses over 50,000 people a year to snakebites.
Despite these huge numbers of deaths, little attention is being given to them. According to wildlife activists, the conflict with snakes is driven by humans. People believe the solution lies in relocating snakes.
Snakes brought up around humans have never seen a forest. If relocated, they will most probably die in a short time. The only solution to this conflict starts and ends with humans, say activists.
Sumanth Madhav, campaign manager for Wildlife, Human Society International/India, said, “12-14 years ago, I could walk into a house which had a snake in it, talk to them about the reasons for the conflict, convincing them to just drove the snake out of the house, it would be fine. But, these days, many tell me, that if I don’t catch the snake and take it far away, they will call another guy who will do that. This is because, there are more snakes than rescuers, and that is not good, especially given that the word ‘rescue’ has lost all the meaning with most rescuers.’’