Bounty of showers brings not only cheer, but also scare in certain pockets of the city, from where a number of snake sightings have been reported of late. Rain water seepage is bringing the reptiles out of their burrows.
Since the onset of monsoons, complaints about snakes have been pouring in from across the city, inform members of the voluntary organisation ‘Friends of Snakes’ which undertakes many snake rescue operations in the city.
“We are receiving about 20 to 30 calls a day. . On Sunday itself, our volunteers rescued 18 snakes from different localities,” informed Avinash Visvanathan, general secretary of ‘Friends of Snakes’.
Besides ordinary residents, those calling the helpline (8374233366) include Forest Department officials and police. Between June 1 and 22, volunteers rescued 282 snakes from various parts of the city, which include Sainikpuri, Mahendra Hills, Paradise, Sitaphalmandi, Hakimpet, Gachibowli, Hitech City, Kukatpally, Patancheru, Lingampally, Bhoiguda, Bowenpally, Boduppal, Miyapur, Trimulgherry, Kanchanbagh, Kompally, Bolarum, Bachupally, Balanagar, Malkajgiri, Upparpally, Nagole, Cherlapally, Kondapur, Jubilee Hills, Banjara Hills, Moula Ali, Habsiguda, Tarnaka, Mettuguda, Marredpally, Jeedimetla, Bandlaguda, Mansoorabad, Ramanthapur, Attapur, Tolichowki, and Hayatnagar among others.
“One common reason behind the increased sightings is habitat destruction. However, rains filling into rodent holes bring out more snakes in this season. Plenty of food is one more reason. This is also the breeding season for snakes,” explains Mr. Visvanathan. Snakes caught so far include Spectacled Cobras, Rat Snakes, Checkered Keelbacks, Russel’s Vipers, Common Sand Boas, Red Sand Boas, Common Kraits, Bronzeback Tree Snakes and others.
They have been released into the nearby forests with the help of forest officials.
The organisation has 40 volunteers spread across various localities, who respond upon receiving information from the rescue coordinator.
“Some people kill snakes. But snakes are not dangerous, in that they do not chase and bite,” says Mr. Visvanathan.