Numerous snakebite-related accidents claim the lives of thousands of people each year. In addition, as a result of several natural and man-made hazards, more and more snake species are vanishing over time. Some ardent animal lovers from hyderabad have joined a campaign to strive for snake conservation in an effort to address the problem from both sides.
More than 150 active and dedicated members support the Friends of Snakes Society (FOSS), a non-profit organisation established in 1995 by the late Rajkumar Kanuri for snake conservation and rescue activities. Each year, FOSS saves about 10,000 snakes. G vivek is a working professional who works a 10 to 7 job yet still finds time to volunteer. He is devoted to helping animals and declares, "I am available for rescue operations after work hours." While volunteering on the weekends, I work nights at the NGO.

When a public calls the FOSS 24-hour helpline to report seeing a snake, the nearest volunteer who is available is dispatched to do the rescue. After receiving care, the snake is safely transported to the shelter home and released back into the forest. Another volunteer, Arun Kumar, claims that after a few months of training, he was prepared to participate in rescue missions. "A cobra was the subject of my first encounter. I successfully directed the snake into the bag using the techniques that were given to us, he recalls.

FOSS general secretary avinash V aims to eliminate the myth that snakes are deadly. The reality is that snakes prefer to avoid human contact and do so at all costs. For our own purposes, we have been entering woods and destroying them. We humans are the ones who approach them, he claims.

To securely return the snakes to the forest, FOSS has teamed up with the telangana Forest Department. The helpline often receives 200 calls every day, 200 of which have assisted the organisation in saving snakes. "Anyone above the age of 18 who has a love of animals is welcome to participate in our project to protect snakes. Before we send new members on rescue missions during their available hours, they must complete six months of training, according to Avinash.

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