In Maharashtra, there is a strong tradition of worshiping snakes during the Nag Panchami ‘festival’. This would lead to large scale poaching and display of snakes. We lead a group of snake rescues and co-ordinated with the Forest Departments to conduct raid and rescues. Several people were arrested, and several snakes rescued each year. It was found that the snakes had their fangs crudely removed and mouth stitched with threads. These snakes were left to die of thirst and starvation after the festival. Continuous action over several years led to eradication of the practice in Pune city area. Similarly several actions were taken against snake ‘charmers’ and madaris making them switch to rubber snakes.

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