Hyderabad: Friends of Snakes Society (FOSS), a city-based wildlife conservation organisation, had rescued 8,895 snakes in Telangana in the year 2020. As a part of their snakes rescue and relocation programme, the organisation is known for rescuing scores of snakes from urban areas and relocating them to safe forest areas, in addition to having conducted thousands of awareness programmes since its inception in 1995.
In 2020, they rescued 4,009 non-venomous and 4,886 venomous snakes from the State. According to their data, 4,407 snakes, about 50 per cent of the total number, are spectacled cobras and 2,396 are rat snakes. This is indicative of the species which are commonly found in the state.
Their helpline receives over a hundred calls every day, with people requesting assistance to remove snakes from residences and office spaces and their team of over 150 well-trained volunteers rescue the animal within 30 minutes. If found sick/injured, the snakes are first treated at Nehru Zoological Park and then relocated to forest areas with the help of the Telangana Forest Department.
According to a press release issued by FOSS, the number and species of snakes rescued by them offer insights into the mating and hunting behaviour of snakes in the state. For instance, the number of snakes rescued in April and May (400 each) was one-third the number of snakes rescued in November and December (about 1,200 each month). This reaffirms the cold-blooded biology of these animals as they come out increasingly in winter months for the warmth of the sun.
Also according to FOSS, spectacled cobras mate at the beginning of summer and the eggs hatch during the monsoon, when their natural prey, like frogs, are abundant. And just that way, the number of rescues in Telangana almost doubled from May to June.
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