Rescuing snakes is this baker's passion

Published: 24 October, 2013 08:26 IST | Vineet Varma |

Kamini Gopal, who has been saving serpents for the last 10 years, says snakes are harmless and attack only in self-defence; believes awareness will help reduce fear

While the word snake gives most us goosebumps, it brings a smile to the face of Nerul resident Kamini Gopal. A baker by profession, the 44-year-old is renowned for rescuing serpents from her locality, Sea Breeze, on Palm Beach Road.

Snake catcher: Kamini Gopal displays her tools for rescuing snakes. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

Gopal says people have a wrong perception about snakes and must be educated on dos and don’ts when they spot a snake in their surrounding. She is a member of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), one of the oldest NGOs in the country, and is also an avid bird watcher.

“My love for rescuing snakes started about 10 years ago after watching a snake rescue drill in our locality,” said Gopal.
“The drill made me realise that there is a method to deal with serpents, which if done properly, may help people getting rid of their fear of snakes. While the last snake I rescued a month ago, was a non-venomous checkered keelback, I have rescued some highly venomous snakes including a Russell’s viper.”

A simple pillow cover, tied to a gutted badminton racket, a hooked stick and a plastic bag is all what Gopal uses in her quest to rescue and release serpents.

“My main aim is to make people aware that snakes will never attack them directly. Nine times out of 10, a snake will run for cover on sensing the presence of a human being. They will bite only in self-defence,” she said.

Explaining things people must remember in case of a snake bites, Gopal said the affected part must be tied tightly and the person must me be administered antivenin (antidote for snake venom) at a government hospital.  

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