Mumbai, Aug 7: A highly venomous cobra was rescued from Shiv Sena (UBT) President and ex-Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s bungalow, ‘Matoshri’ in Bandra east, as his family heaved a sigh of relief, an official said here on Monday.
On Sunday afternoon, there was a frantic call to the Wild Life Animal Protection & Rescue Association (WLAPRA) activist and snake-friend Atul Kamble, who lives nearby, that a snake was slithering around in the compound.
“I immediately rushed there with my gear and checked the entire premises. Finally I located it hiding, very scared and trembling behind a water tank in the bungalow compound,” Kamble, 34, told IANS of his rescue mission.
Aided by his 15-year experience and rescuing over 9,000 snakes and other reptiles in the city, Kamble caught the 4-feet-long cobra and placed it in an open space.
“It was surrounded by a large and excited crowd, it seemed to be in an aggressive mood, so I had to calm it down… After the people retreated some distance away, it relaxed and then opened its hood in a ‘striking’ position to convey that he is the ‘Boss’ there,” smiled Kamble.
The entire operation lasted a nail-biting 15-20 minutes with the Thackeray household and others gawking as Kamble tricked the cobra into his bag.
Then he informed the Thane Forest Division’s Round Officer (Borivali-Bandra) Roshan Shinde and as per the rules, the cobra was released back into its natural habitat.
A relieved and grinning ‘Tiger’ Thackeray personally came out to thank and appreciate Kamble for his efforts.
Kamble said that many snakes have been displaced by the ongoing Mumbai Metro lines works, and there are many complaints – almost 3-4 dozen daily – of snakes sneaking into residential complexes, homes or offices.
He cautioned that after the Mumbai Metro works are over, there may be complaints of not only snakes, but even leopards entering the underground metro stations. (IANS)