SNAKE CATCHER OR ROCKSTAR?
Vava Suresh is an Indian wildlife conservationist and a proven snake expert, but he’s treated like a Rockstar! How would you like being famous for catching snakes? Breathtaking videos of his heroic endeavors are spread all over the internet (just type his name on YouTube or Google). Even Prince Charles asked to meet with Suresh during his visit to India last year. Suresh received hundreds of awards during the years, some of which included money prizes as well. However, Suresh injected all that money back into saving more snakes and reptiles…
DO YOU HAVE THE GUTS FOR THIS JOB?
Well, just so you understand what it means: In 2011, Suresh lost his index finger after a cobra bite. In another cobra bite incident in 2012 Suresh lost the movement of his right wrist. All in all, Suresh suffered from over 250 snake bites! But amazingly he keeps on his sacred mission as a devoted Snake Catcher, saving reptiles wherever he goes. And important to mention, he does it all for free. According to Suresh, since he started his sacred mission many years ago, he has captured more than 32,000 stranded snakes, among them 55 King Cobras, which were all released to the indian forests. Most of the snakes Suresh captures are ones that somehow stray into India’s cities and villages, because of natural habitat loss.
This Snake Cather Hero is not only active in rescuing and releasing endangered snake species. Suresh teaches about snakes and trains various officials on how to treat reptiles when they encounter them. He even medically treats and operates injured snakes that he catches, before he releases them in the wild. Suresh also preserves and breeds various reptiles till hatching periods, and then releases them into nature. No wonder why Prince Charles wanted to meet this admirable Snake Catcher. During their meeting, Prince Charles asked the young Indian about how he managed to rescue so many King Cobras that can kill an elephant in less than 30 minutes. As part of his answer, Suresh demonstrated to the Prince how he catches and handles snakes bare-handed, without using any tools or equipment.
HOW DO YOU BECOME A SNAKE CATCHER?
The love story of Suresh with snakes goes back to his early childhood. When he was 12, Suresh witnessed his friends viciously stoning two snakes that were mating. This shocked young Suresh and changed his life completely. Soon after, Suresh captured his own first snake, a baby Cobra. He hid it in his parents house, nurtured it and studied its behavior. After finishing school, Suresh turned his passion into a job and life mission: A Snake Catcher and Savior. Since then, Suresh has become a household name across India. Many of his snake captures have been caught on tape and broadcasted all over the news.
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Watch this riveting video of Suresh catching a King Cobra in a school:
‘THE SNAKE MAN OF ODISHA’
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Report, India tops the maximum number of snakebite death per annum in the entire world. In a country with so many exotic and venomous snakes, it’s not wonder that Snake Catching has become such a respected job.
A 39 year old Snake Catcher by the name of Subhendu Mallick, is known as ‘The Snake Man of Odisha’ (Odisha is an Indian state on the subcontinent’s eastern part). Mallick has been catching snakes for 15 years, and rescued over 15,000 snakes so far. That’s at least 1,000 snakes per year and almost 3 snakes per day. Mallick even holds a record for discovering a new snake species called ‘Lycodon Odissi’.
Mallick has been bitten by snakes 11 times, once by a Russell viper, for which he was hospitalized for 6 months. However, he has never stopped or halted his mission. On the contrary, this remarkable Snake Catcher even climbed down a 45 feet deep well in order to rescue a Cobra that fell into it. Even firemen hesitated to go in there.
Want to like Mallick the Snake Man of Odisha on Facebook? Click here…
Well, Mallick and Suresh are definitely not the only Snake Catchers in India. There is another famous Snake Catcher that is quickly moving up the ranks…
IS THIS THE NO.2 SNAKE CATCHER IN INDIA?
In the southern Indian state of Karnataka, which is inhabited by almost 30 different snake species and is known as the Land of Snakes, lives Snake Catcher Gururaj Sanil. This Indian Snake Catcher has already caught four King Cobras and almost 60 pythons this year alone. He too, has been covered by news agencies for his endeavors. Sanil has been catching snakes for 27 years, with over 3,000 python catches and 12,000 snake catches of other species. He might have not reached the incredible numbers of Vava Suresh yet, but in the category of King Cobras he’s extremely close to the master, with 54 catches!
It might sound to you like a game or competition between snake lovers, but don’t be mistaken. These Snake Catchers are true heroes and deserve all our respect and support. They are saving reptiles wherever they go, preserving these beautiful creatures for our future generations…