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Channels contributed to:Capacity development
Rooms participated in:Let's welcome new members! WildHub at Earth Optimism Summit April 2020!
Hi Shaleen, it is good to hear about the impact that IndianSnakes is already making.
I was wondering, my work with carnivroe conflict often finds that people can be very tolerant of dangerous animals in their vicincity if a support service is able to quickly respond to an injury (or even death). Is there any parallel with venomous snakes, particulalry in light of the app services you offer in locating support for people injured by the animals?
Hi Simon! So good to hear from you again.
Being able to provide support and prove that snakebites don't need to be fatal, is at the core of our movement to stop people from fearing snakes and killing them. We've got projects both on ground, which deal directly with hospitals and local communities to bring down death rates, as well as virtual support with WhatsApp helplines with snakebite experts and doctors on board, to assist wherever needed. Technically, the government of India has mandated that all snakebite cases be treated for free in government hospitals but from people's hesitation in going to hospitals and prefering faith healers to not having access to hospitals with anti-venom or simply not knowing what to do incase of a snakebite, there are a lot of problems. We're helping bridge that gap.
We've seen success in our core project areas, particularly our first project site. People have seen the economic benefits of having natural rodent control, especially since it's an agricultural landscape. Since I used be a rescuer myself, in case on non-venomous snakes, I've been consciously adopting the approach of requesting people to let the snake be instead of removing it, as is traditionally the practice and it's been working fairly well. Even with our technical partners Madras Crocodile Bank, they've been leading the way in outreach impact at Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, where they've had no conflict for a decade in an area believed to have the highest density of king cobras in India, simply because support systems are in place despite knowing that a king cobra bite will be fatal since there is no anti-venom.
I've done a DICE talk on this in case you'd like to know more about our work. It's available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SetllxsIxAo :)