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Caught in nets, around 20 snakes rescued in 20 days in Mumbai

Updated on: 22 March,2022 07:48 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Shirish Vaktania |

Rescue team found snakes, pythons trapped in fishing and construction nets

Caught in nets, around 20 snakes rescued in 20 days in Mumbai

Nets were found to be lying in a haphazard manner, causing injuries to snakes. Pics/Manish Pingle

In another example of negligence by citizens causing harm to wildlife, around 15-20 snakes were found tangled in nets in Kandivli, Borivli, Aksa beach, Bandra, Colaba and other areas across the city in the past 15-20 days, NGOs working for the welfare of animals have said. The snakes were rescued and after giving proper treatment and care, they were released in jungle areas. 

The snakes, pythons and other wildlife species were found trapped in fishing nets, construction nets and playground nets. 

The revellers, fishermen and visitors throw away these nets, without properly winding them up. The snakes get trapped into them and injure themselves. 

The volunteers of NGO treating the injured snakesThe volunteers of NGO treating the injured snakes

Net causes injuries

Amma Care Foundation (ACF) and Plant and Animals Welfare Society, Mumbai (PAWS-Mumbai) have been working on rescuing snakes and wild animals from across the city, for the past 30 years. In the past 15-20 days, the summer sports activities, fishing and construction works have begun. The NGO said that the nets used were found to be lying midway and were folded in a haphazard manner.

Sunish Subramanian, founder and president of ACF and PAWS-Mumbai, said, “Due to summer, many snakes lookout for cooler places like building drainages, nullah, etc, where they get easy access to water and food. In the past 20 days, we received many calls about rescuing snakes that were found trapped in nets.”

“These nets are nylon or plastic-based which causes cuts to the snake’s body. We rescued venomous Russell’s viper and spectacled cobra, non-Venomous Indian rock python, rat snake and checkered keelback snake. Many were in these nets for two-three days straight and were without any food,” Subramanian said.

“Our volunteers Sunil Gupta, Sushmita Dighe and Nisha Kunju rescued them. The snakes were taken to the veterinarian Dr Manish Pingle for examination and treatment, before releasing them in the forest with the help of forest department staff,” he said.

Can cause death

Dr Manish Pingle Honorary Veterinarian said, “If a snake is injured, wounded, or trapped in a net or wire mesh and is not rescued at earliest, it can lead to its death. The edges of the snake’s skin become necrotic or dead due to lack of blood supply and cause infections. It becomes very difficult to unite the skin edges with sutures if the wound and injuries are left untreated for a long time.” 

Some snakes rescued in the past 20 days

. Spectacled cobra, around 4-feet long, was rescued from the cricket net at Charkop, Opp Sunrise Building at Kandivli West 
. Russell’s Viper, around 5-feet long, from opposite Aksara School, Charkop 
. Rat Snake, around 4-feet long, was tangled in a construction site net at Govind Nagar at Borivli West 
. Rat Snake, around 3-feet long, rescued from a construction site at Borivli West near Rustomjee School 
. Checkered keelback snake, around 3-feet long, was rescued from Kandivli West, Sector 8
. A rat snake, around 6-feet long, was rescued from Malad West
. An Indian Rock Python was rescued from Bandra from a fishing net 

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