28 September 2020, Kathmandu
A young boy Rohit Giri loves to identity himself as a snake conservationist and rescuer. Giri who is currently pursuing his study in B.Sc. with Zoology has been making endless effort to rescue the snakes. Residing in Davis Falls, Pokhara he has been attempting such a fascinating work being actively rescuing both venomous and nonvenomous snakes from Kaski including surrounding districts.
His curiosity and interest inspire him to share his passion and love towards these creatures. When he was 12 years old, he rescued a snake called Green Pit Viper, a venomous species of green snake in Nepal from his neighborhood. “Though I did not have any idea regarding snake at that time, but my curiosity made a way to rescue that sbake so far.”-says Giri. Gradually, he became able to rescue the beautiful creature with his own effort.
Once Giri confronted with a book in a school library which had colorful photos of snakes. Since then he has been drawn towards them. Now also he loves to read journals and articles relating to snake and fond of watching inspiring videos in social media sites.
Rohit Giri has also involved in researches producing papers in coordination with Kamal Devkota who has been involved in snake rescuing effort since 2012 being active in community-based awareness campaign. Giri has huge plan to protect these creatures making unprecedented effort to create awareness in community level. “Not all snakes are venomous, and the victim can survive after treatment”- he says.
In the way to work he met with Mahendra Katila, a president of Snake Conservation Society Nepal and started to work in coordination with the society. Giri who is also a good photographer has been pursuing this conservation campaign on his own. “I have been making several efforts to rescue these creatures and looking for the collective effort from government side too but not gaining as much support from them.”-he stresses.
However, Giri has rescued more than thousand snakes in four years back and more than six hundred snakes are in his record for two years. “I am not an expert, and still in learning phase and need special training to make the rescue effort even more meaningful.’-he adds. Giri has been using tongs hook only one year back and rescuing snakes following ethics scientifically.
He wants to complete his study first and planning to train other rescuers as well in the days to come. “I truly want to change the mindset of people who thinks that all snakes are venomous but it is not so.” Thus, what I want is people have to simply differentiate between venomous and nonvenomous snake and should make a call only to rescue the venomous one.”- he adds.
“Still researches are lacking in this area and the most neglected species are snakes in the world. Though government makes several efforts to preserve other charismatic creatures like tiger, leopard and other mammals but snakes are abandoned.”
People normally kills snakes being afraid of death which is always not acceptable as it harms on their existence. Another reason to preserve them is antivenom serums are made by their venom also used to treat various diseases as diabetes, cancer and even in the process of anesthesia for medical purposes.”-he shares.
Community awareness campaign through participation of the local people should be made sure at each level. All should develop the concept to preserve snakes as a beautiful creature which play vital role to maintain the ecosystems. Somehow, our Nepali culture is helping to preserve these creatures as we worship them as ‘Naag Deuta’.
However, meaningful efforts should be made to minimize human-snake conflict in society. So far awareness through media, video, documentaries, articles and journals will help to this effect. Thus, snakes should be preserved to save nature so far.