When most students would rather bunk school on a Monday morning, this rat snake was an exception. And this is one student the teachers of Sophia High school were not expecting to find, in the sports room of all places.
Says Hisss Mohan, snake rescuer, “when one of the school staff came into the sports room to take a basketball, she found a snake hiding behind it. Immediately, the teacher went out and shut the doors of the room. The school then contacted the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) which provided my number.’’ Mohan removed the basketballs and rescued the snake. However, attempts to reach Sophia High School authorities were unsuccessful.
The rat snake, which is typically about five to six feet long, is not venomous. “If rat snakes bite a human, the person can suffer side effects such as rabies or skin diseases,’’ said Mohan.
Hisss Mohan was called for another snake rescue on Saturday, when a snake was found in the garden next to Chalukya Hotel. But when he was on his way there, the hotel security called to say that the snake had slithered away. Mohan thinks it might have been the same snake since the school is not far from the hotel.
After the snakes are rescued, they are released in a forest and the BBMP forest cell is informed about it. In the last two months, Mohan has rescued more than 70 snakes in the North East Zone.
Mohan says that snake sightings increase in the rainy season. To prevent snakes from coming near human settlements, Mohan advises, “Houses should be kept clean. Ensure that there are no rats and frogs in your garden. They are a snake’s favourite food. If you have a garden, keep it trimmed. There should be no spaces between pots for snakes to hide. Big trees near houses should be trimmed frequently, or snakes can climb the trees and get into nearby compounds and houses. If footwear is kept outdoors, check to see if snakes are hiding in there.’’
Hisss Mohan, who has been rescuing snakes for the past 21 years, is one of the city’s 33 authorised snake rescuers.