Outcry against amateur snake catchers turning cobra rescue into photo-op

Snake experts have strongly criticised a group of amateur rescuers in eastern India for turning a king cobra rescue operation into a photo opportunity.

The group was called to rescue a 12-feet-long king cobra in Bhanjnagar, Odisha state on December 12.

However, instead of releasing the endangered snake in the forest after catching it, the rescuers started posing with it to let the crowd take videos.

They held the reptile down with three tongs with a lock-in mechanism and poured water over it.

To make it worse, they were all amateurs, who were not sure of handling one of the world’s most poisonous snakes, and resorted to excessive force.

Subhendu Mallik, General Secretary of Snake Helpline, said the snake handlers should be booked under the India’s wildlife protection laws.

"They hurt the snake seriously with dangerous tongs. They unnecessarily poured water on the snake's head just to get interesting visuals,” he added.