Saturday, February 2, 2008

Snakes: If you catch one, what do you do with it?

Visitor Sunita has made an interesting comment based on personal experience on my post Protection against snakes. She concludes it with questions: ‘The fishing net idea sounds a good one to try out but I wonder who's going to catch the snake once its entangled? Or do they wait till its dead?’
The pineapple farm owner whom I mentioned in the post had told me a story which relates to Sunita’s query. Two years back he had caught a python. During South-west monsoon in Kerala these reptiles float down with the water from the mountains to the lower elevations. They are harmless except for the pardonable crime of swallowing fowls. It is easy to catch them when they repose after food.
My friend knew that the correct drill was to inform the Forest Department and followed it. After a few days during which more fowls were fed to the unwelcome guest, the Forest Officer in charge of the area came with his assistants.
The official said that this was the first business call they had in a few years; the delay was because the department vehicle had to be repaired and the force mobilized. Anyway the team was efficient. The python was tied up in a canvas bag and taken to be released in the forest.
Before leaving, the Officer had a request – not to bother the Department with such minor matters but to use a stick to teach the intruder a lesson he won’t be able to remember.
Probably the official didn’t know – it seems that some Kerala toddy shops serve python fillet during season to important clientele. Fried, roast, curried? The customer’s choice.
Also see: Kerala food: Kappa (cassava or casava, yuca, manioc, Manihot esculenta)

1 comment:

Tanya said...

My goodness, its a bit frightening to hear that! My husband Thomas was quite handy at catching snakes back home, but that of course being the much smaller ones (not pythons), that were eating the fish in our pond etc.

I happened to be with him on one occasion, where we caught three! It was soon after our marriage, and needless to say, excitement was running high, and my in-laws came to realize, they've caught a daughter-in-law just like their son!