Saturday, May 28, 2005

Rains have snakes slithering into homes

Snakes slither out of their homes...
The Times of India

Bangalore: A terrible scare has sent a chilling shiver down the city’s spine in the past 48 hours. Along with the gusty winds, torrential rains and the punishing power shutdowns, it rained snakes of all sizes and colours on the city.

Slithery creatures on the handle of a motorbike, window grill, gas cylinder, terrace, computer table, under the cot, in the toilet, on the road, inside the drain and more...the numbers have only been shooting, say rescue teams who have been on the prowl ever since Monday evening, when the first heavy rain lashed the city. Following 24 hours, they report receiving nearly a 100 distress calls.

More distress calls came from East Bangalore on Friday. Several clogged drains near Ulsoor lake gushed the snakes out of their homes even into the cosy comfort of four-wheelers, spare parts shops, furniture stores and the like.

On Tuesday at 2.30 am, Nagarbhavi resident K.K. Rakesh was woken up by a furious, hissing sound. The sound, characteristic of a Russels Viper, was loud enough to track it to the kitchen where it was under the cooking gas cylinder. Reptile conservationist Mohammed Anees, who bagged the 4.5-ft-long venomous species minutes later, says the heavy winds, power shutdowns, tree fall, leafy litter and flooding of snake burrows are all responsible for the snake scare in the city.

“This is the season for cobra and rat snake babies to hatch in the city. Before it was time for the young ones to find permanent settlements, their makeshift burrows were flooded with the surging rain water”, Anees who rescued 23 snakes on Tuesday and Wednesday elaborates.

The dust storm like situation and the haunting darkness all around made matters easy for snakes, but bad for residents. Nocturnal snakes like Russels Vipers, Krait and Saw-scaled Vipers (all venomous snakes) found easy, safe cover in the dark of residences.

People For Animals (PFA) rescued seven snakes.
Residents also complained of spotting a good number of tree-dwelling wine snakes, water snakes such as Chequered Keelbacks, and Rat Snakes (nonvenomous) in the vicinity, thanks to the huge wind disturbances and overflowing drains and burrows.

Rescuers received more number of calls from Doddabommasandra, Hebbal, Kanakapura, Nagarbhavi, Vidyaranyapura, Sahakarnagar, Mico Layout, Kanakapura Road, CV Raman Nagar, Whitefield, Basavangudi, JP Nagar and Jalahalli.


Anees: 98440 37424. People For Animals: 28604767. CUPA: 22947300.


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