A snake catcher tragically died after attempting to kiss a cobra he saved. Somnath Mhatre (Smith Mhatre on Facebook), an animal lover and volunteer snake rescuer from India, who had rescued more than 100 snakes, died after being bitten by the snake he saved.
He had reportedly rescued a deadly snake from under a car in Navi Mumbai, about 16 miles outside Mumbai to move it to a safer place.
According to a fellow snake rescuer, who didn’t want to be named, said: “Somnath had gone to rescue a snake from a car at central business district Belapur. After he saved the snake, he tried to pull off a stunt but sadly, it backfired. When he posed for a photo attempting to kiss the snake on the head, the venomous cobra turned on him and sunk its fangs into his chest.”
After the tragic incident, animal activists are now highlighting the rising phenomenon of these dangerous stunts which lead to accidents and events like this, pointing out that snake reflexes are far more faster than those of humans; that is why they encouraged to ban of such stunts.
They are now calling on the Forest Department to issue guidelines to take action against those involved in performing and posting pictures of stunts involving snakes.
“Such stunts must be strictly banned, which is why we have urged the Thane circle of the forest department to issue guidelines,” Pawan Sharma of Resqink Association of Wildlife Welfare (RAWW) told The Times of India.
The forest department is now expected to issue stringent rules for snake-catchers.
We hope this kind of incident never happen again. Our sincerest condolences to the family of Mr. Somnath Mhatre.