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Snakes spark shrieks, and wild zeal too

Staff Reporter
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Wildlife awareness drive conducted by Forest Department for school students

A snake handler displaying a cobra to students of the Government Middle School in Ariyankuppam on Monday. — Photo: T. Singaravelou
A snake handler displaying a cobra to students of the Government Middle School in Ariyankuppam on Monday. — Photo: T. Singaravelou

The air filled with shrieks as the handler pointed snakes towards the students. Amidst the noise, one or two students moved forward to try and touch an Indian Rock Python and one little boy claimed “Why should I be afraid? I want to touch the snake.”

Although some of the students were scared, the excitement in the air was palpable as the children of the Government Middle School Ariyankuppam participated in a wildlife awareness drive conducted by the Forest Department on Monday. Students watched as handlers displayed an Indian Rock Python, a cobra, star tortoise, albino squirrel, Russell Viper and a viper. Officials from the Forest Department also explained where these creatures were found and how to deal with them. For poisonous snakes, the officials also detailed the various symptoms of the snake bite and the steps to take if someone was bitten.

“Illegal”

“It is illegal to own a star tortoise, but many people continue to keep them as pets. If anyone sees a star tortoise, then the Forest Department must be contacted as soon as possible,” an official instructed the students.

Speaking to TheHindu, one of the officials said the event was being conducted to create awareness amongst the students about the various species found in Puducherry and an understanding of how to deal with them.

The wildlife awareness drive will take place in eight government schools across Puducherry, the official said.

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