Deccan Chronicle

A home for reptiles

Deccan Chronicle| G Sunder Raj

Published on: May 11, 2016 | Updated on: May 11, 2016

Thanks to the forest department, the Friends of Snakes Society will soon have a permanent home to house the rescued reptiles.

A member of Friends of Snakes Society during a demonstration

A member of Friends of Snakes Society during a demonstration

The Friends of Snakes Society has been playing caretaker to snakes for the last decade. They have rescued them from human habitats, nursed them back to health if needed and eventually released them back into the wild. The society, which was using a temporary shelter till now, will soon be relocating the snakes into a more comfortable space, courtesy the Forest department.

Avinash Visvanathan, general secretary of the society says, "The need of the hour was to relocate these snakes as it was becoming really difficult to work out of a temporary shelter. It was a makeshift arrangement."

They had written to the Forest department for a site to relocate the snakes. "Luckily, the department understood the problem and considered our request," he says.

The society has been allocated land near Boduppal, which will be a permanent shelter for the reptiles. "The entire area is around 100 acre and we have been allocated five acres. It’s called Bhagyavanam Nandavaram and is on the same lines as KBR Park," he adds.

Though it is not a national park, it is full of greenery and wildlife, and even open to walkers. Although the snakes are released back into the wild eventually, Avinash insists it’s important to keep them in a safe and healthy environment while they are in an enclosure. "It’s important that the permanent structures are fool-proof. The idea is to make it safe for the people working here, as well as for visitors," he says.

Once they have relocated to the new facility, they plan to start a reptile park. "We have plans, but a lot depends on the situation then. We do want to convert this into a reptile-park," he says.

But for now, their main aim is to safely relocate the snakes. He says, "When the time comes, we will work on the required permissions. Now, we want to concentrate only on the shelter."

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