Snakes, safety, and rehabilitation

My response to someone who asked about how to capture a snake and “rehabilitate” it: 1. In my experience, even common non-venomous snakes are identified as cobras by security guards and, indeed, many panic-stricken people, In 8 cases out of ten, we find that it is a non-venomous snake (a keelback or a rat snake). However, I do not rule out the possibility that it might indeed be a venomous snake such as a viper, a krait or a cobra.

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2.Catching the snake is itself a very risky procedure, and there is no guarantee that there will be only one snake. Areas with a lot of undergrowth attract snakes (venomous or not) repeatedly. Also, “rehabilitation” of a wild creature is often condemning it to death. A wild creature in a new area is an alien, and often dies of starvation or is killed by the “local” animals. It is not a simple matter of taking a snake from place “A” and dropping it in “B”. So…”rehabilitation” is a way of killing the snake almost as surely as beating it up on sight.


3. Your best bet, therefore, is to make the area unattractive to snakes. Please, co mpletely clear the compound of all heavy undergrowth, and any logs of wood or debris lying around, which could give snakes shelter. Leave the large plants and trees, do not let dense, weedy undergrowth persist. This way, the snake will not come in as there will be no place for it to lurk. This way you are ensuring that not only the snake seen last month, but in the future, too, no snakes will lurk there, and this will make the area safe for the toddlers…and perhaps pet dogs and cats, too. Hope this helps. Perhaps the property may not look as “picturesque”, but it will be much safer.

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About Deepa Mohan 768 Articles
Deepa Mohan is a freelance writer and avid naturalist.