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Snake falls victim to superstitious belief

Special Correspondent



PLEA AGAINST IRRATIONAL BELIEFS: Mysore's naturalist on wheels, `Snake' Shyam, carrying the crushed reptile. — PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

MYSORE: It is evident that superstitions hold sway among the "educated" as among non-literates.

An incident that occurred near the Karanaji Lake Road near the Rana Pratap Singh Circle adjoining the Mysore zoo is proof enough.

The Karanji Lake is well known as a hot spot for biodiversity and is a habitat to myriad creatures such as snakes, butterflies, and birds. In view of this, authorities recently banned the movement of vehicles along this road in the early hours of the day.

A car ran over a snake slithering across the road and injured it. However, the driver,allegedly at the insistence of the owner of the car, reversed the vehicle only to repeatedly run over the hapless non-poisonous snake as it struggled to move away.

As the snake was being crushed to death a few passers by protested at the inhuman behaviour. The owner of the car was ready with an answer: "It is said that an injured snake will get back at its tormentor within 14 years and, therefore, I thought it fit to kill it now rather than have my life in danger."

Members of the public contacted "naturalist on wheels" — Snake Shyam, as he is known, who is adept at rehabilitating snakes. He rushed to the spot to save the snake and administer some first aid to it.

Unfortunately, the snake which lay gasping for breathe, died even as the driver sped away with a false sense of satisfaction. A visibly moved Mr. Shyam appealed to the public to dispel such beliefs about snakes and called for more humane treatment of animals. He also urged the authorities to enforce the speed limit on the Karanji Lake Road.

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