Giant spiders sprawled on doors, snakes and rats popping out of toilets, monkey menace could all seem horror stories from lands elsewhere. Sadly it is not. It's the high time that Bengalureans learned to live with reptiles, and other wild animals because thanks to our search for home and living we have destroyed their homes and now they have no other option but to seek refuge in our homes.
Monkeys are now known to enter homes and take stored vegetables and fruits from refrigerators and fruit bats can be found clinging onto the window bars and clotheslines. Wildlife experts and snake catchers in and around the city are witnessing the increase in such calls from Bengaluru and its surrounding.
"Animals and reptiles are venturing into homes is a clear-cut indication of the considerable ecological damage. Earlier Bengaluru was hardly 150 sqkms,but with the IT boom in 2001 and merging 110 villages to make it the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike in 2007 – that was the body blow to the Bengaluru ecology. The apartments and layouts began to mushroom in the green zone and lake areas. These areas where buildings are still coming up was the natural habitat of snakes, jackals, mongoose, pangolin and other forms of wildlife in Bengaluru Urban, once upon a time. Instead of saying these creatures are coming into homes, people should realise that they have encroached into wildlife natural habitat," said Sharath Babu, Senior Environmentalist and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Wildlife Warden.
The complaints like spotting of snakes in home is common occurrence in Bengaluru surroundings, and incidents like mongoose entering homes near Kengeri, Rajarajeshwarinagar, Vasanthapura in Bengaluru South, Devanahalli, Yelahanka in North and Yealhanka zone are also on the rise. Rescuing and chasing monkeys from apartments in Bengaluru extension area have become common for BBMP and the Bengaluru Urban wildlife team.
Mohan K, an animal rescue worker and member of civil defence says he gets at least 10 calls of snake rescue from Banaswadi and surroundings every day. "Close by locations I would volunteer, and if the place is far away, I ask other experts to handle the case. These days the calls have only increased as more trees and lakes are disappearing," he said.
The wildlife volunteers and experts say if animals or reptiles are spotted in the house compound and inside homes, people should stay calm and seek help from the local corporation ward office as they will route the complaint to wildlife volunteers.
"Sometimes people kill the animals and reptiles out of fear. There are also chance of humans getting attacked while trying to handle the animals or reptiles. Either way, it is dangerous. Hence we rush to spot and try to rescue the animals and release them in a conducive habitat," said a senior officer from Bengaluru Urban Wildlife
In February this year, troubled by the rising incidents of man-animal conflict in Karnataka,the government had set up a four-member committee to analyse the situation and come up with solutions. They had been told to come up with short, medium and long-term solutions and submit a report in three months. Environment and wildlife experts have warned that not only rains but also piles of garbage can be a trigger to invite these animals to human habitats. It’s time Bengaluru cleaned up its act.
Also read: Bengaluru's water shortage may invite wild animals to your homes
In case you spot a snake or a wild animal in your home or vicinity call these numbers for expert help:
Deputy Conservator of Forest, BBMP -9480685226
BBMP Control Room, 080-22224748