A seven-year-old boy died after being bitten by a cobra which was later removed from his house in Najafgarh on Monday.

According to members of the Wildlife SOS, a Delhi-based wildlife conservation non-government organisation, it received a call from the Delhi Police Control Room about a snake that needed to be captured from a house. “The snake was eventually found hiding under the television set at the victim’s residence,” said a member of the Wildlife SOS team.

“The child had accidently stepped on the snake causing it to bite. The police had rushed the child to a government hospital but he did not survive. He was one of the four children of a street food vendor,” noted a Wildlife SOS release.

“We suspect that the reptile had entered the house from the open drain behind the house in search of rats,” said NGO’s wildlife biologist Baiju Raj.

“The Indian cobra usually warns people by using its hood and hisses loudly, but if we step on it, it reacts by biting in self-defence. Cobras are found in urban areas and poor garbage disposal attracts rats which in turn attract cobras. This incident is very unfortunate as the cobra bite was fatal for the child,” added Mr. Raju.

Wildlife SOS claims that it rescues over 1,000 snakes and other reptiles from Delhi and the NCR each year. Earlier this week, the Wildlife SOS Helpline unit rescued several cobras from residential areas like Dwarka, Rohini, Vasant Kunj, Chattarpur, Palam, Najafgarh and Bawana.

Geeta Seshamani, co-founder of Wildlife SOS, said: “Ignorance about snakes very often causes people to make a mistake. When you see a snake, just leave it alone. Don’t try to kill or harm it. If left alone, it will just go away. The cobra and the krait are venomous snakes commonly found in Delhi and its environs. Keeping your surroundings clean of garbage will keep snakes away. So the next time you notice a snake in your house, office or garden, stay calm. You could also contact the Wildlife SOS Helpline on 9871963535.”

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