Snakebite Mitigation and Human-snake Conflict Management
This work has been our longest standing focus since we began. Initially, we worked on spreading awareness through Bangalore, where, people were needlessly killing or moving snakes from their residential and commercial properties. We have now run over a hundred presentations and guidance sessions where we help people co-exist with snakes. Needless to say, this has been received with various levels of success. However, we have been able to change a lot of mindsets; even caused the change in policy at some industries and residential layouts.
There’s a lot more to this than just training and education, though. In the words of Rom Whitaker, “You can’t protect snakes from people unless you protect people from snake!” TGMP joined the Madras Crocodile Bank led Snakebite Mitigation Project and went on to spearhead all the fieldwork, exploring geographic variation in venom. We’re still very focused on this work and have now worked in seven states.
One of our biggest contributions in this field is the free training of snake rescuers and Forest Department staff around the country. We’ve now trained and equipped organisations and the department in over 15 locations. This work is now getting more intensive and we’re partnering with the Forest Department in a few states to build in-house capacity and set up research and monitoring projects that they will man.
We’ve also supported the training of medical staff in various rural areas in snakebite first aid and treatment.
There’s still a lot to do. Our work continues and we’re covering locations, organisations and species one by one.