The Envenoming Pandemic and the Misguided Views of Snakes: Developing Sustainable Relationships Between Native Poisonous Snakes of India and the Citizens of Maharashtra Through the Use of the Irula Model.
Animal Science Department
BS in Animal Science
Due to its vast population and general negative consensus regarding snakes, India is notorious for having more snakebite incidents than any other country. Snakes are simultaneously revered and feared in Indian religion and culture. This stigma is perpetuated through propaganda, family beliefs, and innate fears of snakes.These stigmas are more pronounced within rural areas, such as the region of Mahad within the state of Maharshtra. Envenoming is endemic in these areas, and others like them. The World Health Organization identified envenoming as one of the most neglected tropical diseases of the 21st century (Nature India, 2013). Additionally, both nonvenomous and venomous species of snakes are killed haphazardly, reducing the biodiversity within the environment and effectively causing more envenoming through active human effort to seek out and kill snakes. The objective of this report is to examine the evidences for connections between human killings of snakes and the number of envenoming cases, and to demonstrate the benefits to people and snakes through sustainable management. This paper will describe methods and opportunities for changing the public perception of snakes using the famous snake charmers of Irula as a model which will be used to strategizesas the basis of a conservational proposal within Maharashtra in protecting both snakes and people