Shivamogga: In an extraordinary effort at animal conservation, a landlord rendered a helping hand to Agumbe forest officials by keeping tabs on a king cobra nest at his private land in Theerthamatooru village near Agumbe in Shivamogga, for about three months thus helping 23 eggs hatch in the nest. The snakelets were then taken over by forest officials and released into the nearby Megaravalli forest area on Saturday.
About 90 days ago, the owner of the land sighted a king cobra nest in his land and informed forest officials who cordoned off the nesting area protecting it from predators, straying cattle and other animals. The nesting king cobra was in a human habitat which required protection by forest officials, said Deputy Conservator of Forests Anthony Mariyappa. “We do not pay attention if the nest is in the forest but since it was in private land, the nest needed protection,” he added.
The land owner was regularly contacted for information on the status of the nest and directions were given to him to prevent cattle or dogs from straying near the nesting area. ““We made use of the opportunity to to create awareness among people not to destroy the nest. We got good support from the local community,” Mr Anthony Mariyappa said.
The RFO, Mohammed Shafi, said a close watch was kept on the nest and when the snakelets started emerging, the newborns were taken out and released into the nearby forest. Mr Shafi added that the nest had to be protected since king cobra is an endangered species.