Snake rescues 2022.

(Solo and assists.)

Never thought I’d have a page like this. From running in the opposite direction (yelling “Ammeee paaamb”) to being a part of the snake rescue team has been a transition that’s traveled the biggest trajectory in whatever I have done so far.

It all started sometime in 2021 when I started accompanying Chayant during rescues. Actually, more so during the release as I started clicking for documenting. One thing led to many, and one fine day, Chayant passed a rat snake on to me which he caught right outside our house.

While I have been a part of multiple rescues, these are only the ones I have either managed on my own or been an active assist.

1. Russell’s Viper

Of all the possible options, this had to be the first one. Named after Patrick Russell, this is one of the big four snakes in India. No matter how much time I have spent with this species so far, it’s always an eerie feeling dealing with them due to their unpredictable nature.

22 Feb 22
FP Children’s park

2. Rat snake

While they don’t usually need any rescuing unless are being attacked by cats or inside someone’s house, Rat snakes need to be picked up by hand. Not a fan. At least not yet. This one was at someone’s utility area and had to just grab it. A first.

11 Mar 22
R30, Resonance

3. Trinket

The trinket snake (Coelognathus helena) is a nonvenomous constrictor species of colubrid snake native to south Central Asia. The scientific name, helena, is thought to be a reference to Helen of Troy, considered by many to be the epitome of female beauty and the most beautiful woman in the world.

Rightly so. Look at this baby beauty.

9 Mar 22
Gate A, Patterns

4. Anamalai Wolf snake

Commonly found non-venomous one, but has a strikingly close resemblance to one of the most venomous one, the common krait.

This guy got wedged between the stones and it took Srinandan and me a good 3 hours to release it from its misery.

21 Mar 22
B cluster, Mosaic

5. Rat snake

This was inside Deb’s hosuse. Wriggled all the way, wasn’t comfortable holding it. Was also stinking. All in all, a forgettable experience. Here’s a screengrab of how irritated the snake was with me as well.

23 Mar 22
B22 – Mosaic

6. Spectacled Cobra

The Indian cobra (Naja naja), also known as the spectacled cobra, Asian cobra, or binocellate cobra, is a species of Cobra found, in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan, and a member of the “big four” species that are responsible for the most snakebite cases in India.

This was my first Cobra rescue from inside a house. Since I had no prior training with this species, each hiss made one involuntary Michael Jackson move.

4 Apr 22
F9, Footprints

7. Spectacled Cobra

The longest wait so far. This one hid in a bandicoot hole in someone’s backyard. Chayant and I spent 2.5 hours waiting for it to come out. It was textbook stuff just the way Chayant explained in terms of behavior. For those, who are confused with the chappal, no, we are not slapping it. It’s for us to get the hood shot for documenting them.

8 Apr 22
C7, Footprints

8. Spectacled Cobra

My first solo rescue of this species. It was a bit of an effort as it refused to get into the pipe/ bag. Felt extremely satisfied with the rescue as I never imagined I could do this by myself.

19 Apr 22
G cluster, Footprints

9. Spectacled Cobra

Tricky one. Hiding under the debris (in the background of this pic), it wasn’t easy to figure out how to get it out. Srinandan is a ‘jugaad king’ as far as tricky situations are concerned. He carefully placed the pipe right where the head was and we coaxed it to enter it with almost no effort.

20 Apr 22
Gate 1, Footprints

10. Russell’s Viper

A young one in someone’s backyard. Fairly clean rescue with no resistance. We usually put the small ones in a bucket and move them to safety.

6 Jun 22
A3, Patterns

11. Spectacled Cobra

Trickiest so far. While I assumed this one was well contained, it made a dash towards a few bandicoot holes. Instinctively, I had to tail it. Something I am yet to be comfortable with. Once in control of the tail, a thought bubble in my head popped up – “Next chapter is out of the syllabus”. Thanks to Shilpa who helped move my pipe/ bag, managed to convince this one to take the bait after multiple attempts.

7 Jun 22
R15, Resonance

12. Russell’s Viper

My first non-Malhar rescue. The call came in from Palm-grove this time. While this young one moved around, I was glad I managed to capture and release it given it took me about 30 mins to get there.

10 Jun 22
Villa 11, Palmgrove

13. Anamalai Wolf Snake

When you have pets around, you tend to leave one or more of your doors open. Sometimes, they often invite unwanted guests. This one managed to sneak inside a house with two cats but managed live to tell the tale. With no injuries, chances are the cats did not play with it.

13 Jun 22
F9, Footprints

14. Spectacled Cobra

Sometimes, you just get plain lucky as far as the spot in concerned. This was restricted to a small area and thanks to the wall next to it, was easy to get close without any fear. Bagging this one was the easiest so far.

21 Jun 22
R41, Resonance

15. Spectacled Cobra

Talking about spots, chances are you could end up in a hide and seek with a Cobra. At Anju Bobby’s academy, there was a lot of construction waste that had gathered over time. A cobra was spotted and I ended up playing hide and seek for about 40 minutes before it moved to a safer spot. In a way, it rescued itself without us having to bag it.

30 Jun 22
ABSF

16. Spectacled Cobra

Cobra on the ground. Check. Cobra on a tree? Hmmm. Had to take Chayant’s help to get it off a tree and then bag it. Slowly getting comfortable with tailing a Cobra.

19 Jul 22
R40, Resonance

17. Buff striped Keelback

The body of the buff striped keelback is short, and it has a long slender tail that is almost a quarter of its length. Two yellow stripes along the length and to the sides of the spine are the distinctive feature of this snake. These stripes diffuse at the head and are especially bright on the second half of its body.

One of the most colorful ones I have seen around here.

19 Jul 22
D6, Footprints

18. Spectacled Cobra

Remember the one who made us wait for 2.5 hours? Well, he came back and decided to play a test match this time. This one hid on a (badly designed for snakes) wall for 2.5 days. While we were trying to finally retrieve it, gave us a slip and was found about 40 yards away.

21 Jul 22
Gate 1, Footprints

19. Spectacled Cobra

Rescuing a young one is tricky. They are frisky and cannot be bagged into the pipe/ bag apparatus. Need to be lifted and put in a bucket. This one was found by the gardeners hiding near a tree.

28 Jul 22
ABSF

20. Banded Kukri

  • Non Venomous
  • Other names: Common Kukri Snake, Indian Kukri Snake
  • Kukri snakes range from India to SE Asia & southern China too.
  • Has specialized curved teeth shaped like Kukri Knives to slit open eggs.

Found this outside Tarana at night with a security guard telling me over the phone “Sir, chota hain magar Cobra hain” 🙂

30 Jul 22
Outside Tarana

21. Spectacled Cobra

Another young one. Fairly clean rescue from Medley basement. A smaller hook and a bucket is all you need. This was also one of the quickest rescues. Going in and coming out from a dark basement pathway was done in under two minutes.

2 Aug 22
Medley Basement

22. Rat snake

A baby rat snake was hiding near the Medley construction site. I am getting comfortable with catching them with my hands now.

8 Aug 22
Medley Club house

23. Checkered keelback

The checkered keelback (Fowlea piscator), also known commonly as the Asiatic water snake, is a common species endemic to Asia. It is non-venomous. Most of the time this snake tries to raise its head as much as possible and expand its neck skin mimicking a cobra hood and intimidate the threat. Though it is non-venomous to humans, it can deliver a painful bite which is inflammatory.

As luck would have it and how Chayant was waiting for this day, I got my first bite from this one.

10 Aug 22
D6, Footprints

24. Spectacled Cobra

The one that made us wait a long time on 8th Apr and the longest on 21st July was back. He/she is a tough cookie for sure. I had a 40 min stand-off because it was refusing to get into the pipe. I had set up two of them. For the first time I saw a snake trying to enter these pipes (about 5 times) and then going “Nah, I’ll skip”. Finally resorted to using the tongs and a drum to safely move it from the lawn.

17 Aug 22
Opp. R8, Resonance

25. Spectacled Cobra

Considering I had a tough time with one less than 24 hrs ago, this one was the easiest to bag and release. Was hiding behind a pot. Poked from one end, got out from the other, and went inside the pipe like it knew that was the protocol. During the release as well, got out and went on its way without ever putting its hood up.

18 Aug 22
Terraces

26. Russell’s Viper

A night when two Vipers and a Krait kept us on our toes. While the Krait gave us a slip, Chayant took care of the first Viper and I managed the second. Ensured this one entered the pipe with a bait – there is light at the end of the tunnel.

7 Sep 22
Gate 2 parking, FP

27. Russell’s Viper

Another baby Viper was found by the security at Terraces. Looks like they are around in decent numbers.

9 Sep 22
Terraces driveway

28. Spectacled Cobra

Rescues are always interesting. This Cobra initially looked like it was stuck. On closer inspection, realized that it had caught a toad and was busy making a meal out of it. Or so we thought. The toad had bloated up and there was not enough gap for the snake to pull it out. It ended up being a waiting game for me. Waited for 40 minutes until the snake gave up it’s meal before bagging it.

15 Sep 22
Terraces

29. Spectacled Cobra

Kairav called about a snake that looked like a Cobra. Went to check, but it had disappeared into the backyard ducts. While chatting with him, on the opposite side, I spot some movement. Kairav is convinced it’s not the same one he saw. What are the odds ah? Going for one Cobra but another one waiting around is a first 🙂

22 Sept 22
R40, Resonance

30. Spectacled Cobra

Yet another tiny Cobra. This one was hiding inside a pot. The gardener did a good thing by keeping an eye till we got there.

23 Sep 22
A17, Patterns

31. Spectacled Cobra

Sometimes when you think a rescue will take time, the snake will be like “I know it’s the weekend, won’t keep you long. Where’s that damn pipe and bag of yours?”. Found by some passers-by, this one was hiding in a drain pipe. We knew there was no opening on the other side and decided to wait. In less than 10 minutes it came out and Chayant did a very clean lift with the hook.

24 Sept 22
Patterns A gate

32. Russell’s Viper

After a hectic weekend, just as I was planning to wind down, a tiny fellow wanted our attention. This baby Viper was inside the compound wall of a house at Srinidhi. Fairly easy rescue and release.

25 Sep 22
Sreenidhi Greenwoods

33. Russell’s Viper

No way to predict Bangalore rains. Kinda similar to Vipers. After a fairly long MG road outing, I was resting at home when it started pouring. Just then, we got a message from Patterns about a Viper in their garden. We went in the rain to find this baby (maybe a year old) viper hiding behind some plants.

1 Oct 22
A25, Patterns