The forest department levied a penalty of Rs.20,000 on the security staff of a highrise in Raj Nagar Extension (RNE) after they allegedly killed a cobra that surfaced. The incident took place inside SG Impressions highrise on Sunday.
“We levied a penalty of Rs.20,000 for killing the snake, which was a cobra and stated to be 5-6 foot long. Killing cobras is prohibited. We were not informed when it was discovered and its body was also disposed of. It should have been handed over to the forest department instead,” Asif Shehzad, range officer of the forest department, said.
On the other hand, the RWA members of the highrise said that the snake was not a cobra and it was found under the bonnet of a car.
“It was killed by the security staff with sticks. The snake went into a pit and was taken out. They security staff also disposed of the body. Nearly 60-70 residents had gathered as they were terrified. The security staff killed the snake in self-defence, otherwise, we had no clue how to tackle the situation. The snake was in an aggressive mode. The forest officials also took our staff to their office and released later,” Shrikant Tyagi, RWA secretary, said.
An animal activist from RNE said that he advised the residents not to kill the snake. “The snake was in the open area and rushed inside a hole to hide. The security staff took it out and killed it,” Ruchin Mehra, an activist from People for Animals, said.
In another incident on the same day, a cobra was discovered under the bonnet of a car at Raj Nagar District Centre. The forest and animal activists got the reptile transferred to its natural habitat.
“Since it is monsoon, snakes move out to shed their skin and look for a coarse and rough surface. They go into hibernation from August. Nearly 90% of the snakes are harmless and non-poisonous. Residents should inform the forest department if such animals are discovered in residential areas,” Shehzad said.