This Sangam city ‘Tarzan’ has risked his life rescuing 2K reptiles and wild animals
The prime objective is to safely rescue the reptile or the wild animal before it is killed by panic-stricken people
Ankit aka Tarzan of Prayagraj is busy these days rescuing reptiles and other animals that have come out of their burrows following the heavy rains in the district. Ankit Jaiswal (24), a reptile and wild animal catcher of the city, rescues snakes, monitors lizards and other wild animals being spotted in homes and other areas of the city, and releases them safely in their natural habitat.
The prime objective is to safely rescue the animal before it is killed by panic-stricken people. Ankit, a resident of Kydganj locality, and his friend Ashish rush to the spot soon after they receive a call about the presence of a wild animal.
He has rescued over 2000 animals until now, including snakes and big lizards but crocodiles, alligators, Kabar bijju, pythons, fox, jackals, and peacocks.
Besides receiving rescue calls from people across the city, he also receives help from the police, army and other departments, if any wild animal is spotted on their premises. Moreover, the forest department often takes his services for rescuing reptiles.
Without using any safety gear, Ankit takes a risk in rescuing the wild animals. Despite being bitten once by a Cobra during a rescue operation, he continues saving the lives of animals and relieving locals from their terror.
“People usually call local police station after they spot snakes or wild animal inside their houses. As I have given my number to many cops, they immediately contact me for rescuing the animal. I along with my friend Ashish, immediately rush to the spot after receiving the call as my main objective is to catch the snake or the other animal alive before it is killed by local people. We then release the rescued animal usually at Arail and the forest area of Bhita. We do not have any fixed fee for the service but we accept whatever people give us for the expense of coming to the spot. People should not panic after they spot snakes or wild animal, and instead, they should evacuate the place immediately. The reptiles themselves are afraid of humans and try to escape in a bid to save their life,” he shared.
Ankit has not taken any formal training to catch and rescue animals but has developed the expertise by watching TV channels—Animal Planet, National Geographic, Discovery etc.
“I developed an interest in reptiles and wild animals as I used to watch these channels. I was inspired by the teams of experts engaged in rescuing reptiles and animals and saving their lives. While the experts on these channels are equipped with sophisticated safety equipment and anti-venom, I have to rely only on a stick to catch the deadliest of snakes. Once rescuing a large cobra in the Andawan area, I was bitten in my finger as soon as I tried to catch it. However, the bite was not too deep and I reached the hospital with the rescued cobra where I was given treatment’” he said.
“With heavy rains lashing the region, at present, I am receiving 5 to 6 calls each day for rescuing snakes and monitor lizards. Last year, I was called, for catching a Kabar bijju (honey badger) which has entered High Court premises, while, I also rescued a crocodile that has entered Karenda village on the banks of Yamuna River in the Kareli area. Recently I rescued some large pythons in Naini and Cantonment areas,” he further said.
However, despite giving his services, while risking his life, his repeated requests to the forest department to appoint him on some post or give him some fixed fee for his job have fallen on deaf ears.
“I have made requests to many officials for my appointment in the forest department, but no positive response was given by them,” he complained.