Fearful Agra residents living in the shadow of snakes

Agra, Aug 9 (IANS) The City of the Taj is gripped by fear. And it’s because of the reptiles that are sneaking into the residential areas almost every day.

On Monday, a four-feet-long common Krait appeared at a Shiva temple in Mangoora village on Mathura Road. The large number of devotees who had gathered there panicked. A team from Wildlife SOS managed to capture the snake and later released it in the forest.

The two-member rescue team identified the snake as Common Krait (Bungarus caeruleus), considered to be one of the four most venomous snakes found in the Indian subcontinent.

After requesting the public to clear the area, the team of trained rescuers carefully transferred the snake into a container.

“The snake was found to be in good health and was released back into its natural habitat,” an official said.

Hatam, a member of the Wildlife SOS rescue team, said: “The devotees inside the temple were terrified and we had to ensure that they did not do anything to agitate the venomous snake. On sensing that we were trying to capture it, the Krait tried to defend itself by coiling up to hide its head and raising its tail. However, this made it easier for us to transfer it into the container.”

Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder of Wildlife SOS, said: “Common Kraits seldom bite. However, when dealing with venomous snakes it is important to keep them very calm. People get accidentally bitten only when they step on the snake or an untrained person attempts to catch or handle these snakes.”

Recently, a six-feet python had entered a house in Tedi Baghia area here, forcing the family members to spend a sleepless night. Locals said about six pythons were sighted in the area in the last two months.

According to environmentalist Shravan Kumar Singh, snakes are seen in residential areas because “their natural habitat has been disturbed by the march of urbanisation”.

“Forest areas are encroached and even the river banks are being usurped by colonisers. So you find these creatures disturbed and moving into urban clusters looking for food,” he added.



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