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Oh Hell! It’s a Snake!

The Cobra Bagged!

We’ve had some drama here at home so ‘H’ is getting pushed to tomorrow. For now I want to talk about our current heart stopping adventure.

Over the last two months, I’ve taken to watering the garden in the evening between 4 and 5. That way the water stays in the ground longer before it evaporates in the heat. Today I was later than usual and it was 5:45 by the time I entered the garden. As I walked in to turn on the tap and pick up the pipe, I saw movement. I froze and looked again. As I watched a snaked climbed and slid into the exhaust of the wood oven that opens into the garden.

The guy was fairly fast but he took long enough for me to see he was a cobra and about a meter in length. I quickly walked back into the house and told Che about it. Then I went back out to finish watering the garden and keeping an eye on the snake while I also got on the phone and started making calls. I watched as the guy peeped a couple of times, and each time my heart beat went up a notch.

Che got doing what he’s good at, he went to Google and got the BBMP Forest Cell number. They asked him where we lived and directed him to call Jayraj who was closest to us. Jayraj when called asked me questions about the snake, where it was and what size the oven was. Me with my broken Kanada thought he was asking me snake dimensions so I promptly told him that it was a cobra and at least a meter in length (This misunderstanding I understood only after the snake was caught).

Jayraj asked for directions to our house, told us he would be there in 20 minutes and then went on to give me instructions on what to do while I waited for him to arrive. He confirmed that the snake was still inside the oven and then told me to stand at least 10 feet away and watch to see if the snake came back out. He told me not to provoke the snake, to keep quiet but watch the snake so he would know where to look when he came.

Che and I spent the next 20 minutes watching and waiting as darkness fell. We armed ourselves with a couple of torches and sticks and stood guard. Che even got his telephoto lens to keep a closer eye. 😛 Wonder what we would have done with a stick had the snake appeared, most probably tripped over it as we turned tail and ran. 😀

Anyway, we bravely stood a good 10 feet from the exhaust hole and waited, but this time we didn’t even see a peep. We started to wonder if the snake has managed to get out without us seeing it. But we waited as we had been instructed, there was nothing else to be done. Jayraj got to our place in 20 minutes as promised and I found my taut nerves relaxing a bit.

I showed him where I’d seen the snake and told him there was a bigger opening to the oven on the other side. Again he instructed me to stay put and watch the exhaust hole while he went around the house to the other side and checked through the larger opening with Che.

Of course this meant I missed the excitement of catching our first snake. Not that it lasted very long, Jayraj was quick, fast and good at what he did. Within minutes the snake was caught and bagged but not before Che got a photo.

Jayraj confirmed that the snake was a Spectacled Cobra and 4.5 feet in length. I got to see the snake in the bag aggressively hissing. Whoa, that hissing was scary, it’s a loud and angry sound that made my hair stand on end. I’m glad we did call and ask for him to be caught rather than live and let live in this case. The snake will be released in an area where there are less chances of a snake-human confrontation. That’s a win-win I think.

I’m also glad we found someone like Jayraj, who was very professional and good at what he did. He took the time to talk to us, show us and tell us about the snake, he also walked about the house and gave us tips to keep snakes out. I’ve got him on speed dial now but this is a win for Google too. Google search made finding him so much easier.

Now that I’ve seen and caught my first snake, I’ll be a little more confident the next time I have to deal with one when Che isn’t around. It’s also a good reminder to watch my step in the garden. I’m contemplating taking the dogs in there with me while am there, though I’m not sure if they will like the watering bit, or that I will like the doggie cleaning I’ll have to do after they have their fun in a wet garden.

Alright am rambling, but my nerves as still a bit a-jangle after our first snake adventure. 😀 Now I need to get to learning more about the big four found in India – the Indian Cobra, The Common Krait, The Russell’s Viper and the Saw-scaled Viper. More on what I learn later. 🙂

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