Snakes tend to enter houses and cool places during summer
Around 7 p.m. on Monday night, the Forest Department received a call from a security officer at the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research saying they had spotted a snake outside the Regional Cancer Centre.
By the time the snake rescue staff could come in, the snake had found a small burrow in the sand and had entered it. The rescue involved digging up of the sand, and, finally, after about 15-20 minutes, they were able to find the cobra. It was soon put into a pillow case, where it calmed down.
The cobra itself was around six-feet long, and, according to the Forest Department staff, Cannadassin, who has been rescuing snakes for the past 14 years, it is one of the longest cobras he has caught. There are several snakes in JIPMER and he gets called for these jobs fairly often. The most common snakes there are Russel Vipers and Cobras. With the new buildings coming up, however, the snakes are now moving out and their numbers have reduced.
The rescued snake would be rehabilitated for 15 days before being sent to Vandalur Zoo, he said.
Honey bees and yellow band wasps are also a problem at JIPMER, and quite often the Forest Department is called in to clear them. For the monkeys, the JIPMER staff has now installed seven cages to relocate them and they have captured quite a few monkeys that were on the campus, he said.
According to Agricultural Officer of the Forest Department K. Sivakumar, during times of extreme heat and rains, snakes tend to enter houses and other areas to cool off. It is during these summer months that most of them are seen in houses. Every month, around 10-15 snakes are rescued by the Forest Department.
Anticipating the increase in calls, the Department had now ensured that there were six people who were trained in rescuing and they were on the job 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “Most often, the calls for snakes come at night, so it was important to have someone on the job 24 hours a day,” he said.
There are several preventive measures that people describe, but they have not been proven.
“In case there is a snake in your house, the important thing is not to try to hit it with a stick or use weapons against the snake, since trying to attack the snake increases the chances of it striking. It is important to keep calm and to call either 100 or 101 and report the incident. They will then be able to inform the Department and the staff would then rescue the snake,” Mr. Sivakumar said.