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20 Jul 2019, Edition - 1467, Saturday

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Kerala News

Kerala’s snake man Vava Suresh does feat in Idukki district

Renald.A.Frank

Kerala: He is known for his missions saving snakes straying into human habitats in Kerala. A wildlife conversationalist Vava Suresh has captured 51,000 snakes of which 135 were king cobras. He says he has been doing this for the last 28 years and it has been a `hobby since school’. On Sunday, he caught two king cobras in Idukki district.

Suresh has had 2,088 bites and was put on ventilator thrice and twice in the ICU. Asked how his family felt about his `hobby’, he said that initially they did not support him but later lent him `full support’.

He has also conducted about 10,000 awareness classes at schools, colleges, Lions and Rotary clubs and universities. His efforts to capture venomous snakes from human-populated areas and educate people on snake behaviour have been widely acknowledged. Lack of protective gear while catching snakes often landed him in trouble and claimed that his body was immune to minor bites and was not a cause of worry for him.

Widely known for his conservation activities, Suresh has rescued many of forest animals which included 150 Monkeys, a tiger, several snakes and two elephants which were later released into the forest. He has also collected eggs and preserved them till they were hatched. It is full-time activity for Suresh and he rescues about 10-12 animals on a given day. He has received more than 5,000 cash rewards.

He began catching snakes when he was in Grade VI. He has been bitten by king cobras 389 times. His latest catches were two of this variety in the City on Sunday.

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