November 6, 2008
Hump Nosed Pit Viper
As a hump nosed pit viper would testify, it is always a wise decision to wear some kind of a snake proof shoe while roaming around in the forest. And it augurs more for people like me who live virtually inside a moist deciduous wildnerness and are allergic to the thought of exploring a place sitting in a jeep. If I ever have my way in things, then it is by doing it by walk and nothing else. A jeep is more of a joy ride while walking enables you to listen, not just for birders but for the forest loving souls.
So we were walking one fine day in an elephant region and were constantly alert for the giant coming around. It was then that a kid who had come with a rather large group of class 9th students cooly said 'hey, a snake'. People surrounded the poor guy and it took me more than 10 seconds before I reached the place and it was a viper. At that time, I did not know that it was a hump nosed but surely it was a viper - that I could easily make out. And it was surprising to see the lack of fear in the minds of the kids who discussed amongst themselves of the snake lookinng like the one they saw in National geographic. This lack of fear could have been deadly, if not for my naturalist who had to shout the crackle of the kids and move them away from the snake. This comes as a revelation that kids are not scared, having been so accustomed to seeing these snakes on TV.
While I am not a snake type, we could feel that they guy was lethargic and not keen to get busy with us. So, we showed it around and with a small lecture about haemotoxics and nuertoxics, which they kinda knew through TV, we moved on. It took us more talking to demonstrate to the kids the virtue of walking in a single file in the forest and not straying over as in their homes. I have started trying out with more sturdy shoes and being even more sensitive with students who come over and people who are boisterous by attitude.