Bengaluru: Recently, an untrained snake catcher succumbed to a snake bite in Hessaraghatta, bringing to the fore the problem of illegal snake catchers trying to rescue snakes, which are increasingly being sighted because of the onset of summer.
The BBMP is being flooded with animal rescue calls, most of which are for the rescue of snakes and birds. On an average, the Palike gets about 30 calls a day from all the eight zones. Of them, nearly 10 are for rescue of snakes, while the least are for dogs and cows, a BBMP officer said.
“Snakes come out of underground holes and bushes during summer as heat is unbearable. They look for cooler places and enter homes through sanitary pipes and other openings,” he said.
Snake sightings have also increased because empty plots across the city are being cleared for construction of buildings, destroying their habitats.
A snake rescuer from BBMP said, “Their habitat is being taken away. After we rescue snakes, we release them in a forested area within 1 km of the rescued spot or at the Bannerghatta forest. Injured snakes are treated at the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (WRRC) in Bannerghatta.”
Another BBMP officer said, “We are discussing about training snake rescuers across the city to make them understand the behaviour of these reptiles and their relationship with the city. We also discussed about setting up a snake shelter in the city in the coming year, as injured snakes can be kept at the shelter and taken care of before being released into forests.”
The recent death of a man while trying to rescue a snake shows that people are ignorant about the behaviour of the animal. “People should alert the BBMP control room or any trained snake catcher immediately after sighting a snake. No one should try to rescue a wild animal without proper safety equipment or training. All the BBMP zones in the city have animal rescue departments and they work round the clock,” the officer said.
Labourer caught snake but died
Maharaja, 48, a construction labourer, rescued a snake from a house in Hessaraghatta on Sunday. He caught the snake, but was bitten on his right hand. He managed to put it in a bag and took it home where it bit his hand again. He complained of uneasiness in the evening and went to sleep. Later , his neighbours found him frothing and rushed him to a hospital, where he was declared brought dead.
The BBMP wild life rescue team learnt about the incident when they reached the house in Hessaraghatta. An official said that they received a call from a resident to rescue the snake. By the time they arrived they found the snake had been taken away. “We learned that the person was untrained,” he said....