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24 Mar 2019, Edition - 1349, Sunday

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Coimbatore

Mission snake rescue

Sneha L

“Snakes are beautiful creatures. Do you know king cobras are the only snakes that could build a nest? I just love king cobras,” says GowriShankar.

GowriShankar is a wildlife enthusiast with an unbelievable amount of energy. GowriShankar has served as an animal inspector, an educational officer and also as a conservation officer. He is now doing his PhD on ‘King Cobras and their genetical variations around the world’.

GowriShankar’s first encounter with snake happened when he was just 13.

“I lived in Bangalore. Like any other big cities development took place. Wildlife’s habitat was destroyed for the purpose of construction. I saw many number of snakes getting washed up at houses and people killing them. I hated that and that was how I got involved in rescuing snakes. But it is sad that people kill snakes as they see them, even now,” he says.

So, what can we do when a snake shows up at our place? GowriShankar suggests that we rescue and relocate them. And he is kind enough to show us how we can rescue a snake.

Kalinga Centre for Rainforest Ecology (KCRE) and Bay of Life are joining hands to conduct a two-day workshop on snake-rescue training at Chennai, in association with Chennai Snake Park.

“The workshop is named as STORM- Scientific Training On Reptile Management. We train the participants to safely rescue and relocate the reptile. We tell them the legal implications of wildlife rescue, we introduce them to the first aid methods that should be practiced in case of an accident and show them how to avoid such situations. So far we have conducted workshops in Chennai and Mysore. We are planning to take it to Odisha in future,” said Bay of Life member Showkath Jamal. Bay of Life has conducted eight such workshops in the last two years.

The two day workshop which starts on June 24 includes a wild snake walk with the Irulas on Sunday.

What does GowriShankar has to say to the participants in advance?

“Nature is wonderful. The past generation enjoyed the fruits of nature and the future generation must do so. It is our responsibility to preserve the nature and to begin with you must understand what our environment is!”

Interestingly,kids,too, can learn to rescue snakes.

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