Posted tagged ‘snake’

Another Babushka!

9 May 2010

The little pink snake

Its rescue season in CME! The last time it was a lissom damsel, now its a teeny toddler but with all the attitude of an adult.

My daughter Aditi and her friend Sunayana  were cycling along the CME Lake road when they came across a small pink strand moving next to the road. It was a baby snake. Naturally Daddy-O was called upon to drop whatever was doing and come to rescue it!

When I remarked mildly that the snake was in its natural habitat and that nothing need be done, animal-loving Aditi pointed out the dry grass-less environs, two stray dogs nosing the bushes on the other side of the road, some jungle crows perched above and the clear daylight which would highlight the baby to those out looking for a snack.

The miniscule snake found itself ensconced between two Grecian Goddesses armed and ready to war with those who considered a small snake as an item on the Bill of Fare. It was having none of this,  it formed a coiled S shape with the front part of its body,  flattened its body and lunged with its tiny yaw at the girls in turn, quite oblivious to the fact that it’s gape was too small to even hold onto a proffered finger. While I drove to meet them, the snake kept them busy with its tiny antics.  The girls passed the time in IMPORTANT DEBATE! The snake, they decided was a female and accordingly they named it Gaga after the latest goddess in pop music. Unfortunately for the girls, a brief cloudburst drenched all three before I could reach there! Finally, I reached and their vigil was over.

Gaga - the feisty little trinket snake! Note the S-shape coil and laterally flattened neck.

They watched with great concern as I nonchalantly  picked the little pink snake up by its tail and dropped it into my butterfly net. Soaking wet, they leafed through my copy of Whittaker & Captain and correctly identified it as a juvenile Common Trinket Snake (Elaphe helena).

Home the snake came, to be photographed and released in our garden in a clump of bushes and grass next to our concrete pond bordered with a small stand of bulrushes.

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A damsel in distress!

20 April 2010

A damsel in distress!

An unusual damsel, extremely beautiful, touchy and unlike the normal variety – highly dangerous in reality. She was found wandering around behind the bachelor’s quarters. The bachelors were loth to keep her but feared her vicous temper.

Sadly, if any one other than Abhinav had spotted her first, it would have been her end! Serendipity ensured that there was a basket of the kind that snake-charmers use in a pile of odds and ends in the cubby hole under the stairs. Placing it on top of her and sliding a cardboard below, he deftly trapped her.

It was a young Indian Cobra – Naja naja.

Since she was kept for a few hours only, no attempt was made to feed her and the basket was kept in a quiet place away from disturbance.

In the words of the late Steve Irwin, "Ain't she a beauty!"

Then the experts were called in, or rather, my friend Christopher was called in and I accompanied him. We took her to the wild area of CME to release her. En route, Chris, who is an expert though cautious snake catcher, taught us the correct technique to catch her.

One has to take great care with young poisonous snakes – the head has to be held firmly from behind and above. Too much pressure and you could fatally injure the young creatures. Too little pressure, you risked the little creature getting free from your grip and biting you.

Svelte & sundar!

The cobra was released near a stream and she went and hid in a hole under water.

A note of caution – don’t try to bootstrap yourself into catching snakes. Learn from the experts and that too with non-poisonous snakes. There number of snake-experts and scientists who have died from snake-bite is very large. The only need to catch a poisonous snake is for its own welfare – when you need to rescue it from Man and take it to sanctuary.

On the road to precious freedom!

NOTE :

Since I am a reputed m.c.p., I refer to the young snake as a female. The truth is we do not know whether the snake was male or female. The technique of determining the sex of the snake can injure it if done by other than experts. Since our only requirement was take the creature to safety, this was not attempted.

An avuncular Christopher shows local kids that snakes are lovable creatures too.

Image Credits : Abhinav Chawla. Released by him under Creative Commons License 3.0 Share-alike (Unported).

P.S. Strangely between the writing of this post and its publishing,  I had to interrupt the dinner party I was hosting to rescue a Russel’s Viper. Unbelievable? Yet true!