Owing to rapid urbanization, deforestation, and shrinking habitats, there has been a surge in the incidents of human-snake conflict. Snakes are a crucial component of a healthy ecosystem and their decline often results in imbalanced food webs and undesirable population explosion of their prey species. On the other hand, a few venomous snakes are harmful to man, causing mortality and morbidity in humans. Consequently, they are feared, hated, and killed. The human-snake conflict has widespread, adverse implications for both man and snakes. To overcome this centuries-old, resilient conundrum, we should equip ourselves with knowledge about snakes, our surroundings, and safe practices to coexist with them.
Snakes are secretive animals and often avoid human interaction. Despite their human aversion, they, sometimes, end up in our offices and dwelling spaces, while searching for food or space. Where ever possible, they should be left undisturbed until they move out by themselves. However, venomous species that end up inside the buildings should be rescued and relocated, without causing them any harm.
Friends of Snakes Society has been rescuing and relocating snakes since 1995. Several thousand snakes are rescued from habitations and relocated safely to suitable habitats, each year. Expanding cities decrease habitation available for snakes, resulting in increased incursions, sightings, and captures.
Currently, the organization receives 100-150 rescue calls, daily. Our rescue coordinators filter emergency scenarios from stray sightings that do not require attention and dispatch the nearest member to the rescue site. Our members, who spend more than six months getting trained on various aspects of snake rescue, including handling rescue scenarios and crowd management, adeptly and ethically capture these snakes and shift them to our rescue centre.