Man hunted snakes and put up pictures on social media, held near Mumbai | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Man hunted snakes and put up pictures on social media, held near Mumbai

Mumbai city news: Ajay Powar would catch snakes and do stunts with them, take pictures and post them on social networking sites.

mumbai Updated: May 26, 2017 00:37 IST
Arvind Walmiki
On April 28, a complaint was filed with the forest department at  Panvel range and a team was formed to trace Ajay.
On April 28, a complaint was filed with the forest department at Panvel range and a team was formed to trace Ajay.(HT)

A 22-year-old was arrested by the forest department on Thursday for carrying out stunts with snakes in Panvel, near Mumbai.

Ajay Powar would catch snakes and do stunts with them, take pictures and post them on social networking sites. He has been warned by officials several times, especially after being bitten by a cobra in October last year.

The man still carried on with his antics, despite warnings.

On April 28, a complaint was filed with the forest department at Panvel range and a team was formed to trace Ajay.

The man had escaped death once after a snake that he was trying to kiss as part of the stunt bit him on his lips. He was produced in court on Thursday and remanded in police custody till May 30.

Kunal Salunkhe,35, secretary of Organisation for wildlife studies (OWLS) from Alibaug, said, “ We have been looking for him after the incident, in which he was bitten. We met him many times and tried to make him see that this was dangerous but he never bothered. Finally, we wrote to forest officials to take the incident seriously.”

“Others get encouraged to do such things if offenders are not stopped. We warned him that serious action will be taken but it fell on deaf ears ” added Salunkhe.

Sunil Limaye, chief conservator of forests, said, “Very few follow the rules. Smuggling snakes in the name of rescuing them and putting pictures up on social networking sites is wrong”.

The forest department will soon issue a list of dos and don’ts to help rescuers. “We have warned snake catchers that they will be booked if they hunt instead of rescuing snakes,” said range forest officer Shivaji Thakre.

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