As pandemic continues to reduce our physical mobility, in some cases absolutely reduce us to our residences – it’s no longer rare to sight to see animals or birds boldly venturing out reclaiming their share of space in town and cities.
Due to fewer vehicles and lesser human movement, while the environment has been conducive for the animals and birds to roam carefreely. While these animals are generally harmless and wander in search of food and shelter, it is when they pay a surprise visit to local homes that panic grips among a few people.
However, due to circumstances or unfamiliarity with animals, expert intention does become necessary before either humans or animals cause harm to one another.
In the last couple of months, Atul an independent animal rescuer from Mangaluru has been on a regular run across the coastal district rescuing a variety of snakes, including dogs and cats.
The 22-year old says that the loss of natural habitat in the coastal district is the major reason for animals such as snake venturing out. “Besides other animals, we have rescued over 23 snakes alone from homes since the lockdown,” he adds.
A self-taught ethical animal rescuer has also offered is among the on-call volunteers with the Mangaluru city police. Post rescue the animals, under the observation of forest authorities are duly released to their natural habitat.
On the other hand, Rajani Shetty has been a sincere host to stray animals especially dogs. Since the lockdown, the 40-year old along with her family have been feeding 160 stray dogs. “We also take care of about 15 cats, hen, eagles, and tortoises and love to take care of more animals, but for our limited economic means,” she said.
Her effort was also recently recognized by the local media when Rajani also made into rescued a cat that had fallen down a 50 ft deep well. “It’s not new to me. Even they are living creatures with family. By maintaining due caution and personal safety, it is only humanitarian to rescues helpless beings,” she said.
At 37, Xavier Kiran Pinto, also known as “Snake Kiran” who has been credited for rescuing over 4500 snakes was in for a pleasant surprise – when he found a rare Albino Python. “It entered a house in Bantwal. Thankfully because people in these areas worship snakes like Cobra, they don’t kill them. But the danger of being spotted and attacked remains for other variants,” Pinto said.
Besides 200 plus snakes, and a civet cat, white python, he was involved in administering aid to the rescues animals and their subsequent release back to the wild.
Across the country, the residents have frequently reported an increase in the number of spotting domesticated species like dogs, cats to uncommon visitors like civet, peacock, Nilgai, snakes.
Even post Lockdown, since COVID-19 is prevalent – rescuers say that animal may continue to come out on the road since there are lesser human activity. “Since vehicle and industrial noise is less the animals are not scared. The only thing required is that such co-existence must be encouraged by showing compassion to animals and the environment around us,” Rajani said.