KARNATAKA

Mysore's naturalist on wheels, ‘Snake' Shyam, to the rescue

Big catch: ‘Snake' Shyam holding the python, which marked his 22,400th catch in Mysore and surrounding areas. — photo: M.A. SRIRAM

Big catch: ‘Snake' Shyam holding the python, which marked his 22,400th catch in Mysore and surrounding areas. — photo: M.A. SRIRAM  

He caught a 7-ft-long python near Emerald Enclave residential area

A 7-ft-long python found near the Emerald Enclave residential area on the outskirts of the city was caught by ‘Snake' Shyam in the early hours of Wednesday.

Mr. Shyam, whose dexterity in catching snakes has earned him the sobriquet and on whom a special documentary has been made by the National Geographic Channel, received a frantic call around 1.30 a.m. from Infosys security personnel who were on a beat around the campus.

Disbelief at first

“The security supervisor Biddappa informed me about the python but I refused to believe him. However, he insisted that there was a large-sized python. I then rushed to the spot and found it in a bush near the Emerald Enclave,” Mr. Shyam said.

The snake weighing nearly 25 kg was handed over to the Mysore zoo.

Habitat

The python's habitat is widespread, including grasslands, marshy jungles, scrub forests, rocky terrain and river valleys.

It is suspected to have slipped in from the backwaters near Yelwal.

Incidentally, this was Mr. Shyam's 22,400th catch in Mysore and surrounding areas since he started trapping and releasing the reptiles into the wild almost 15 years ago.

Sixth python

This was his sixth python, but the biggest he had caught was an 11.5-ft-long python from the paddy fields of Srirangapatna.

With his trademark outfit comprising a bandana and dozens of Rudraksha malas and as many finger rings, Mysore's own naturalist on wheels constantly moves from place to place heeding calls from frantic public.

Mr. Shyam also doubles up as a conservator and educates schoolchildren about the importance of snakes and their role in the environment in keeping rodents and other pests at bay.

In case one comes across a snake in the backyard, help is at hand.

Mr. Shyam may be contacted on 9448069399.

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