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Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
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24 Hours In Life Of Shravan Krishnan: Kissing A Snake Is Risky Business, Play Safe, Says This Slytherin Wizard

Shravan Krishnan wanted to be a cricketer but an injury scuppered his dreams. An expert snake catcher, he is Chennai's most sought-after man when animals are in distress

24 Hours In Life Of Shravan Krishnan: Kissing A Snake Is Risky Business, Play Safe, Says This Slytherin Wizard
Photograph by G.C. Shekhar
24 Hours In Life Of Shravan Krishnan: Kissing A Snake Is Risky Business, Play Safe, Says This Slytherin Wizard
outlookindia.com
2019-11-25T11:58:05+05:30

“Come let’s release this fellow in the bushes,” says Shravan as he led me into the forested tracts of the sprawling Theosophical Society campus in Chennai. After a short walk, he pulled out the wriggling rat snake—captured at 8 am in a housing colony—from a black cloth bag and handed it over to me to do the honour of setting it free. The snake slithered into the long grass and disappeared. “If it were a cobra, I would have released it in a more remote area—for the well-being of the snake as well as humans. But a rat snake, among the two dozen or so non-venomous species in and around Chennai, causes no harm,” he explains.

For nearly six years, 29-year-old Shravan Krishnan has been the go-to man in Chennai if a snake is spotted in a populated area. A bachelors in commerce, he nursed cricketing ambitions but gave up those after a back injury. He then trained under Rajesh, an ­expert reptile catcher of the forest ­department, travelled with him for over a year and ­observed how he caught snakes before taking up rescue missions. Initially, the forest department would beckon him on ­receiving calls on their rescue helpline—if Shravan were nearby, he would rush to the spot. Now that he is a well-known animal rescuer, people call him ­directly or get in touch through his wide circle of animal ­lovers on spotting a snake.

He is usually at his animal clinic in the campus from 10 am to 3 pm, that is, if he is not out rescuing creatures in distress. Today, he has organised a pick-up for stray dogs. Around noon, he oversees spaying operations and a cast for a fractured dog, and then ­collects donations and food for the ­animals. All around him are large four-legged creatures—a camel and a few old horses spending their last years in the complex’s green...

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