Workshop on rescue, rehabilitation of snakes

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) N. Prateep Kumar said here on Monday human-snake conflicts and reptile bites deserve better awareness among the public and the forest staff to reduce causalities on both sides.

Inaugurating a three-day workshop on Herpetofauna-focus on safe rescue and proper rehabilitation, Mr. Kumar said even non-poisonous snakes were being killed. Lack of awareness in handling them is causing serious problems. He said the workshop being organised here was the first of its kind in the State and more would be organised.

He pointed out that crop loss, injury or death caused by wild animals was being compensated by the State government and divisional forest officers (DFO) should not hesitate to use the funds of the State Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) for this purpose. He said that government was very particular in paying compensation.

Pratyush P. Mohapatra, scientist, Zoological Survey of India, appealed to the State government to declare snakebite a natural calamity like Odisha did and pay compensation as per the law. He said despite worship of snakes they were being killed. He said through this workshop, participants, organisers and other stakeholders should find out the standard operating system to rescue snakes and conserve them.

Abhijith Das, scientist, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, said the first study on snakes in India by British scientist P. Russel was held in Andhra Pradesh in 1856 .

Ananth Sanker, DFO, Wildlife, Rajamahendravaram, in his opening remarks said after the inaugural session, all the participants would be taken to Maredumilli where the workshop would continue for three days. He said proper training for snake rescuers, forest field staff and stakeholders would be given in the workshop.

Nandini Salaria, DFO, Kakinada, AP Forest Academy deputy director M.V. Prasada Rao and Chodavaram Forest Range Officer Sai participated.

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