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Atul Pai: The Youngest And Brave Snake Rescuer of Kudla

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Mangalore: Atul Pai, 24 an independent wildlife rescuer and conservationist from Mangalore has been on a continuous run to rescue snakes from the coastal district. He keeps getting calls for snake rescues as well as many other wild animals such as owls, bats, civet cats, etc. He also rescues dogs and cats but his main focus is on wildlife.

Atul Pai is a graduate in the field of mass communication and journalism from Nitte Deemed to be University. He began his snake rescues when he was 16 years old, he rescues both venomous as well as non-venomous snakes ethically and professionally the snake is not harmed or irritated as well he doesn’t need to touch the snake with his bare hands. During the pandemic, Atul Pai has relocated more than 77 snakes and more than 300 to date in Mangalore. He has rescued 47 non-venomous snakes(worm snake, bronze back tree snake, wolf snake, rat snake, trinket, checkered keelback, Whitaker’s boa, Indian Rock Python) and 16 venomous snakes(Spectacled Cobra and Russell’s Viper).

atul pai

Atul Pai Rescuing A Spectacled Cobra
Image Source: His Instagram

He mostly dedicated himself to learning and exploring the field of wildlife, went trekking with environmentalist Dinesh Holla and his team, and attended workshops. They are conducted by Kalinga Centre for Rainforest Ecology (KCRE) an NGO by herpetologist P. Gowri Shankar based in Agumbe and more similar workshops which bought him closer to the people in the field of wildlife conservation.

Atul Pai is a self-learnt in snake rescues and started rescuing without any equipment in the beginning. He made an impromptu hook using a cloth hanger and when he used to get calls, he used to hide the hook from his parents and rescue the snake. He has also been an inspiration to many in Mangalore as he rescues snakes ethically and scientifically. “I too used to free handle snakes, but after watching a video by Madras Crocodile Bank Trust (MCBT) on scientific way to rescue, I started following the same.”

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Atul Pai Resucing A Peahen
Image source: His Instagram

He speaks. Every snake that he rescues and releases is noted down with all the necessary details and is submitted to the forest officials. With urbanization, forests are getting chopped off and these creatures have no space to live and are forced to enter our houses in search of food, which is a basic necessity for all living beings.

“I thank my parents, siblings, and the forest officials for keeping a trust in me and allowing me to continue in the field that I am passionate about,” he says. He says  “Safety is the number one priority and especially while handling snakes, a person needs to be very careful to not harm himself and the people around.”

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Atul Pai Hosting An Awareness Program
Image Source: His Instagram

SNAKE, the word instils fear among many and curiosity in a few. Off late, youngsters across are getting into this field and risking their life without prior knowledge about these creatures. With over 50,000 snake bite mortalities annually in India, the country is known as the death by snake bite capital” of the world. Though this passion began at the early age of 16, he was not active for quite some time as he was not well equipped to rescue.

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Atul Pai After Attending A Wildlife Photography Course
Image Source: His Instagram

Currently, with an average of 3 to 5 calls per day, the Atul Pai has rescued about 300+ snakes actively in and around the city for the past two years. Atul Pai was also a former volunteer at Animal Care Trust (ACT), an NGO in the city that is set up to save stray animals in need.

Atul Pai has also conducted snake awareness programmes across the city in schools, colleges and also in Mangalore Airport. Him being an ethical, self-taught animal rescuer, post animal rescue under the observation of forest authorities are duly released to their natural habitat. There are a lot of snake rescue calls that he receives, them complaining about the snake getting in their houses, he says,” The main reason for the snakes venturing is because of the loss of their natural habitat.”Atul Pai

For any kind of assistance in Mangalore with regards to wildlife, Atul can be reached out on: +91 8618190692, Instagram: @mlrrescues and, e-mail: mlrrescues@gmail.com , you may even contact the Mangalore Forest Department on- 0824–2425167 for any assistance.

 

Featured Image Source: News18

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