Hyderabad: Almost every week or so, family WhatsApp groups have videos of snakes being caught and rescued from households. But however creepy or scary it seems, it is a fact that snakes are being spotted in urban areas in increasing numbers.
Of course, the reason behind it is the rapid expansion of the city. But what is heartening to know is that people are increasingly becoming aware of the fact that snakes should be protected and are actively reaching out to organisations like Friends of Snakes Society (FoSS).
Last year, FoSS had rescued 8,895 snakes in Telangana, a majority of that number, from Hyderabad. In a scenario like this, what the public can do to be safe from snakes and to ensure snakes’ safety too is to take simple steps, as Manish, a volunteer at FOSS says, “Snakes usually are found where their prey animals like rats, frogs, etc are found. People usually throw trash in empty plots and it attracts rats, hence, there’s a chance of snakes in such areas. It is important to keep localities clean.”
“There are certain small steps you can take to ensure snakes don’t get into your house. For instance, if you ensure walls don’t have any holes, it can go a long way. Fixing a fibre sheet to the bottom of gates also keeps snakes out,” he advises.
When a snake is spotted somewhere in a house, the best thing, according to Manish, is to call them. “It is not suggested to try to hold it or even go near it as the snake can get provoked into attacking. Also, identifying whether the snake is venomous or not isn’t easy. It is better to maintain a distance but keep it at one place till the rescuers arrive.”
It is also important to know that out of the 30+ species of snakes in Telangana, only four are venomous. In any case, if you are bitten, the best thing to do, according to him, is to clean the wound with water and rush to the nearest hospital. “Snakes don’t usually attack and in the worst case scenario of being bitten by one, it is important to not panic and keep the heart-rate low. Wash the wound and get to the nearest hospital,” says Manish.
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