Thursday Photo Challenge : Coiled


Thursday theme for this time is “CURVED” (Bent, Rippled, Coiled, Spiraling, Twisted,…)

Snakes have always fascinated me and when to my amazement and joy I saw my elder one also handling them with as much ease and passion that I do it make me swell with pride. We have a lot of misconceptions about these enigmatic creatures. They  have been unnecessarily labeled with bad reputation due to misconceptions arising from superstitions and religious dogmas. Majority of these opinions are formed out of fear and sheer ignorance. Snakes have been misunderstood for too long, and their role in nature is too little appreciated.
Due to lack of proper information, disbelieves and fears, many important species of snakes have become rare and are threatened with extinction; so, disturbing the natural cycle of coexistence.The Wild Life Protection Act of 1972 passed by the Government of India has included all Indian snakes in the list of animals to be protected from being killed. The Act also bans sale of items made from snake skin. Exceptional import licenses are issued, but strictly for scientific purposes.

you need to be free of that  instinctive fear of reptiles to embrace them and enjoy their beauty

This is a rat snake also called jalebi snake.It is also called Dhaman.  These snakes are non venomous. The one Adi is holding is called banded racer , one of many varieties of rat snakes found in India. They feed on rats, frogs etc and are often found near rice fields and human habitations.

 

This one is the Indian Rock Python. One of our favorites. These snakes are beauties and are second largest and heaviest of Indian snakes. Called Ajgar in Hindi they have glossy skins and flat heads.They feed on mammals. Live prey are constricted and killed. One or two coils are thrown around the prey, holding it in a tight grip. The prey, unable to breathe, succumbs and is swallowed head first.

The population of Rock Python has depleted alarmingly during the last 50 yeas on account of heavy commercial exploitation of its skin and their products, which are in high demand in the world market. It is an endangered species and yet we are losing many of these gorgeous creatures due to common misbeliefs.

I have yet to handle a snake in the wild. Though I have seen some while visiting wild life sanctuaries. The ones we are holding come from the snake-charmers and normally don’t have poison. The practice of snake charming—catching snakes, keeping them in captivity for extended periods, and training them to perform—has traditionally been passed from one generation to another. For generations, it has provided a critical means of support for many Indian families but now due to wild life acts and growing knowledge on snakes these people are losing their livelihood. It is rare to find a snake charmer even in villages. Once an icon of Indian culture snake-charmers are struggling to survive these days.

I hope these beautiful and harmless creatures find a safe home and people shed their fears and treat them with the love and respect they deserve.