The fear psychosis around snakes due to which, instead of just shooing away, people attempt to kill when these enters someone’s home, is fast fading in Tinsukia district of Upper Assam, thanks to the tireless efforts of a group of conservationist.
The group, Green Buds, an NGO led by Devojit Moran has managed to rescue over 100 snakes in the Tinsukia and upper Assam region by intervening at the right time, a feat for which he earned popularity among the locals with the nickname Xaapdhora (Snake Catcher).
“Snakes play an important role in maintaining a balanced eco-system. People often kill snakes if those enter inside their homes and residents but now things are gradually changing in some parts of upper Assam,” Moran who lead the group, said.
The team mostly catches the poisonous snakes that stray into the residential areas and release them back in the wild.
Recently, Devojit has rescued a King Cobra from Koliamati area in the outskirts of Kakojan forest and released it back into the wild.
“So far I have rescued many poisonous snakes from different areas of Tinsukia and released them into wild. Not only snakes, I have rescued many animals from different locations of Tinsukia and successfully released them into wild in the presence of forest department,” Moran said.
Moran also added, “In this this feat, for the first time the team has spotted a Pit Viper in Digboi, which was later rescued and released into the wild.”
Pit Vipers are a very rare extremely poisonous variety snake that are distinguished by a heat sensing pit organ between the two eyes.
Moran said he and his team is on alert 24×7 for calls when a snake or a wild animal needs rescuing.
“We have informed people throughout Tinsukia about our activities and they call us, at times even late at night.” Moran said.
He is a trained snake catcher and is currently further trainings under Wildlife Trust of India(WTI) on rescuing and conserving snakes.
“We are also creating awareness about snakes. In village areas, people generally kill the snakes when they see it. We, instead, urged then not to kill. People don’t know about snakes, they think all snakes are poisonous without identifying them. Proper identification of snakes is important and we have shown them ways to identify in order to do away with this fear psychosis,” Moran said.