by- Amanjeet Kaur
Earlier this month, the team of Wildlife SOS recieved a phone call from forest ranger Mr. R K Sharma, that a snake charmer was spotted at the mall road oposite Mughal hotel in Agra city. A snake rescue team of three- Mr Bhushan Kumar, Mr Sakir and Mr Reddy was deployed at the above mentioned location followed by the rescue of a Cobra snake from the snake charmer. The offender was handed over to the Forest Department for further investigation.
The rescued snake was rushed to the Agra bear rescue facility where Dr Yaduraj, our veterinarian, examined the health condition of the snake. The snake charmer had brutally removed its venom glands that resulted in a swollen mouth filled with fungal infection and pus. The snake in distress has been given necessary treatment and is currently under observation.
Snake charming is the practice of pretending to hypnotize the snake by playing an instrument called the “Pungi”. Snakes are able to sense vibration but they don’t have the outer ear to hear music. They follow the movement of the Pungi that the snake charmer holds and sways with. The snake considers the”Pungi”and the snake charmer a threat and responds to it by becoming alert and sways with it so as to be able to strike it. There are no skills involved in this practice beyond the extremely crude and painful one for the snake of having its venom glands and fangs pulled out. Since the venom is actually a snake’s digestive juice, the snake suffers a terrible plight in the future and succumbs to death due to indigestion.