Expect to bump into snakes this season

Neha Basudkar
Friday, 9 June 2017

In summer, snakes hide in their holes. During the monsoon, these holes get filled with rainwater. So, snakes come out

Chinchwad: With the arrival of monsoon, venomous and non-venomous snakes come out of their hiding places and begin to roam about freely, which may endanger lives of residents.

Deepak Sawant, curator at Pimpri-Chinchiwad zone and Nisargakavi Bahinabai Chaudhary Zoo, said, “In summer, snakes hide in their holes. During the monsoon, these holes get filled with rainwater. So, snakes come out. Snakebites in the city have reduced a lot, but there are chances of people getting killed by a snakebite while they go trekking or outing in forest areas near Pune.” Deaths by snakebites reduced to 40 per cent last year.

“There are five types of poisonous snakes: Cobra, Krait, Russell’s Viper, Bamboo Pit Viper and Saw Scaled Viper. The venom of the snakes can be categorised into four types. Cardiotoxins affect the heart tissues; neurotoxins act on the nervous system after being bitten by a cobra or a krait; cytotoxins affect tissues at the site of a bite or tissues that absorb the toxin; and hemotoxins may cause internal bleeding and heart system failure after bitten by a viper. The non-poisonous snakes are Indian Rat Snake, Python, Checkered Keel Back, Trinket, Banded Racer, Sand Boa and Wolf Snake,” Sawant said

In April and May, snakes lay their eggs and these eggs hatch in June. Baby snakes have low amount of venom in them but the toxicity is high. So, even if there is a bite by a baby snake or by a snake, the victim can die if anti-venom is not administered. “If there is a snakebite, the victim has to be taken to a government hospital to administer anti-venom. If the victim is given anti-venom within an hour, there is a 99 per cent chance of survival. Private hospitals can also treat the victims but they have to procure anti-venom from government hospital,” Sawant added. “Most of the victims die due to superstitions related to snakebites. This happens mostly in rural areas, where snakes are frequently spotted. The rate of deaths due to snakebite in urban areas has dropped,” said Sawant.

 

 

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