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The TrickyRescuer: Rescuing snakes for free

by Staff Correspondent
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Gourav Narayan | The TrickyRescuer: Rains are here, and so are creepy fears! Watch your steps the next time you enter your garage, an ATM kiosk or a lawn. A snake might just welcome you. With the onset of monsoon, these “unwanted” guests have slithered into several homes in Patna. Next time you find a snake hissing inside your house this monsoon, don’t panic or cause it any harm. All you need to do is dial a helpline (70707 67677) and professional snake trappers will be at your doorstep to help you. That too, free of cost.

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The TrickyRescuer is an ambitious project that aims at training volunteers for snake rescue besides administering first-aid simultaneously for the subsequent rehabilitation of snakebite victim(s). For making The TrickyResuer a reality, The TrickyScribe joined hands with Imex, UK. Purpose of The TrickyResuer is to explore the factors related to human-snake conflicts. On the basis of these findings, various strategies are to be proposed to reduce the incidence of snakebites. The TrickyResuer aspires the same!

Prototype of The TrickyRescuer runs on WhatsApp communication network and is already working! It is an ambitious project aiming at training volunteers for snake rescue besides simultaneously administering first-aid for the subsequent rehabilitation of snakebite victim(s).

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Identification of the snake besides knowledge of post-bite symptoms can prove critical as far as saving lives is concerned. We plan The TrickyRescuer that not only elaborates on the parameters that can help identify the species but we’ll also empower the trainees with social media tools so that they may spread the word in a better magnitude.

The helpline is being run by a group of nature enthusiasts who’ve been serving the denizens for past four years. The team is very particular about the urgency involved and maintains turnaround time of less than 30 minutes for locations within the state capital. Snakes apart, team has expertise in rescuing other animals and birds as well.

Gourav with a Russel's Viper

Gourav with a Russel’s Viper

Talking to The TrickyScribe, Research Scholar, Department of Zoology, Patna University, Gourav Kumar, who runs the helpline, said the rescuing operations include a two-pronged rescue act: saving people from sustaining snake bites and taking out the reptile to the wild, their safe fiefdom.

The team in Patna has six experts in catching snakes who’ve rescued more than 70 snakes till date. They get regular phone calls during the monsoon.

“As a child, I was compassionate to animals and birds. I took it as a mission when I grew up. Later, it was my college senior Siddarth Ramchandran who trained me as a rescuer,” Gourav said adding “I’m just chipping in my bit to preserve the nature. People kill them mistaking them as dangerous.”

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“Once we rescue a snake, we take it either to Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, commonly known as Patna zoo, or to the riverine plains, depending upon the proximity,” he said. Speaking about the costs incurred, he said we do it with whatever financial resources we have. We don’t charge it, for this is our passion.

Cautioning Patnaites against attempting some do-it-yourself jigs, Gourav said snakes are quite unpredictable and his technical training notwithstanding, he has sustained two snake bites, although from an eastern garter snake. No untrained person should try this without supervision, he added.

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