Human Snake Conflict Essay

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Where there are sheep, the wolves are never very far away. (Titus Plautus, 254-184 BC) INTRODUCTION "Man-eating leopards bring fear to slums of Bombay as 10 die", (Foster 2004) was published in The Telegraph on 29th June, 2004 along with several other stories on "man-eater leopards" in Mumbai. This came a year after the Maharashtra Forest Department released around 500 pigs and rabbits in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park to discourage the leopards from entering human settlement in search of food. (The Hindu, 2004) These series of attacks and unusual mitigation by the Forest Department caught the attention of the international media partly because…show more content…
When it comes to human-snake conflict, it is not restricted to certain pockets of habitat alone but is one of the most widespread and occurs in both remote villages with scare population and densely populated urban areas. India has roughly 270 species of snakes out of which 60 are highly venomous. An estimated 0.8 million snake bites result in around 50,000 deaths and tens of thousands of amputations every year in the country. India is home to 13 snake varieties that are highly poisonous of which five make up the deadly list of the common snakes biting humans — Common Cobra, Krait Cobra, Russells Viper, Saw Scaled Viper and Hump Nose Pit Viper. (Snake bites kill 46K in India yearly, ToI) When it comes to snakes, the distinction between ultimate and proximate causes is blurred. Ultimate causes like rising human population, development project and widespread practice of monoculture still apply to human-snake conflict. While destruction of habitat would count as one of the topmost reason for snakes to come in contact with humans, with regards to this species, often unwarranted fear of snakes among humans increases the intensity of conflict where thousands of snakes are killed every year out of sheer paranoia. (Translocation Tragedies: Are We Really “Rescuing” Snakes?. Conservation

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