Known for its celebration of Nag Panchami where locals catch snakes and put them up for display and worship, the town of Battis Shirala in Sangli district of Maharashtra will soon get a snake park and treatment and rescue centre for these reptiles. This will be the first such state facility for snakes.“We are planning a transit rescue and treatment centre and a snake garden for educational purposes. This will be as per the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and the court orders,” said MK Rao, additional principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife-west).He said a decision on the idea would be taken by the state. The Bombay High Court in 2014 had banned the capture and exhibition of snakes on Nag Panchami.Before the festival, groups and volunteers captured snakes and stored and displayed them later. Animal activists say this involves cruelty like taking them out of their natural habitat, feeding them milk and smearing them with turmeric and vermilion, which affects their health.



Nag Panchami

MK Rao

Battis Shirala

Snake Park

Wildlife (Protection) Act

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Maharashtra plans park for rescued snakes