Residents get to see more snakes in Coimbatore during lockdown

A spectacled cobra that was rescued from a house at Ondipudur in Coimbatore on Sunday.  

The last three days have been busy for final year law student V. Chithran from Singanallur, a novice into snake rescuing.

He rescued two spectacled cobras from houses at Singanallur and Ondipudur on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, he got a call from a gated community at Singanallur where a rat snake had slithered in. “The place where the gated community is situated used to be a sugarcane field. Now, more snakes are being spotted at the place,” he said. Debris and waste dumped near residences are attracting snakes where rat population is likely to be high.

Biologist J. Peter Prem Chakravarthi attributes the arrival of the South-West Monsoon as the main reason behind increased sightings of snakes now.

“The monsoon triggers the growth of vegetation due to which the population of insects, frogs and rodents like rats increase. Movement of snakes is more during the period due to increased availability of food and also for mating,” he says.

According to him, this cycle happens every year, but people come to notice the movement and presence of snakes more these days as they spend more time around home due to lockdown restrictions.

Seasoned snake rescuers in Coimbatore A.R. Ameen Badusha, R. Sanjay and K. Santhosh Kumar say that they got more rescue calls during the lockdown period last year and this year.

“Improper management of food waste is another reason as it will naturally lead to an increase in the number of rats which are fed by snakes,” says Mr. Badusha who takes care of reptiles at the Coimbatore Corporation’s VOC Park Zoo. His assistant Anand rescued a common kukri, a non-venomous snake, from Cheran Ma Nagar on Saturday.

“Snakes like the common kukri were widely seen in Coimbatore in the past. Their sightings have come down now,” he adds.

According to Mr. Sanjay, various snakes have their mating season between January and June. People come to notice the movement due to the lockdown. “Venomous snakes like cobra, russell’s viper and krait were rescued from many residential areas,” he says.

Mr. Kumar reused around 100 snakes from urban and rural areas in the ongoing lockdown period of the second wave of the pandemic.

According to M. Senthil Kumar, Assistant Conservator of Forests, 1,209 rescues of animals, snakes, birds and lesser known species were made in the Coimbatore Forest Division in 2020. Of these, more than 500 rescues were of snakes, says the officer. The data on rescues made in the limits of the seven forest ranges in the division this year is yet to be collated. The Forest Department can be reached for the rescue of non-domestic animals, birds and snakes at 0422 2456922 and +91 1800 4254 5456.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 11:39:30 PM |

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