Here comes one more King, by Sanjay Chhimwal

King_cobra_rescue_june2010It was around 8.45 in the morning on 6th June 2010 when I got a call that a snake has entered in a hut in Garjia village near Dhikuli. I rushed to the location without any delay with a locally prepared tool PVC pipe with a bag fitted on the other end for such purpose. It was suggested to me by my friend Gowri Shankar whom I met during his last visit to Corbett. Gowri is a snake lover and he is doing research on King Cobra. When I reached the place where the snake was I saw lots of people around the hut and some inside the hut as well. I saw the snake and found that it is a King Cobra. The length of the snake was around 10-12 feet. It was a small, dark hut and the snake was beneath a small cot in the corner. I was told by the owner of the hut that the snake was spotted in the early morning around 5 am by them. I observed that by this time the snake was little angry as already some people tried to catch it. I also saw some small stones around it which must have thrown on him to get it out of the hut but not to kill as they were small in size.

King_cobra_rescue_june2010__1_I looked around and saw that there were many small holes on the short wall for air and assumed that the snake must have entered in the hut from one of these holes. The hut was near an irrigation canal and the snake must have come from this to the hut as the distance is hardly 40-50 feet. They also said that they saw the snakes in past few days in the irrigation canal. I tried to bag the snake with the help of the equipment that I made but the angry and disturbed snake was not ready to go in the PVC pipe. It was quite difficult also due to small and dark hut. A disturbed King Cobra which is around 10 feet with an attacking range of 3 feet is not easy to handle in such a small hut. After several unsuccessful attempts I decided to get the snake out of the hut in open area. It was not difficult to bring the snake out from the hut and it came out easily. The moment the king cobra came out it started running fast to another house nearby. I went with a big log and lift it in the air so that it cannot enter another house. In this whole episode the snake became angrier and tried to attack more aggressively. I asked for a big basket which I got immediately and then with the help of the log allowed the snake to go under it.

The snake felt relaxed under the basket in dark as it was not moving. After this I asked to bring 3-4 bucket water and poured it over the basket to make the snake calm. Luckily I got some cold water also which helped further to make it calm. The next thing was to bag the snake in a sac which was with me after a little delay. But this was good as the snake was resting under the basket during this time delay. I asked one of the courageous guys to hold the wide open sack with the help of a long bamboo. I lifted the basket with the help of the log and saw that the snake was calm now. I removed the basket completely and asked the fellow to hold the sack. Now the snake was also cooperating with us and was not moving much. I lifted the king cobra with the log high in the air and moved it into the open sack. The snake went in without much effort and we tied the mouth of the sack with the help of a rope. The snake was safely bagged and everybody around was relaxed. By this time forest staff was also there and I asked them where to release the snake. I was told that the snake has to be released in the Dhikala zone of Park.

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Since the place was a bit far and we had to go in a vehicle to the point of release I asked for a bucket with half filled with water so that I can keep the snake in it to keep it cool during the time of transfer. We took the snake to a place called Sajgadi Sot (stream) as this is a kind of habitat which king cobra likes. We released the snake a little far from the road where there was some water. Just after the release it went fast towards the water.

This is the third incident where a king cobra entered a human settlement in last five years and luckily this was also rescued and released safely back into their natural habitat. What good thing I have observed in such cases people are more aware now about snakes and instead of killing snakes they call for help and report it to forest department or other people about this.



One Response to “Here comes one more King, by Sanjay Chhimwal”

  1. yashica nailwal says:

    nyc one
    n sanju chachu plzz add me ur frend list on fb jyada bhaav na kahao ab

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