He doesn’t fight crime like Spiderman or Ant-Man. But the “Snake Man” of this central Assam town prevents serpents and humans from hurting each other. Sixteen years ago, Saurav Borkataki got so angry at a man who had killed a snake that he slapped him. After that incident, he vowed to protect the creatures. A wildlife photographer by profession, the 46-year-old from Bam Parbatia Bahu Chuburi here catches snakes and releases them into the wild.”I have rescued various kinds of snakes since 2000. The count would be more than 500 varieties for sure, including over 200 pythons. Now people either from their homes or offices call me whenever they see one and I am there to happily oblige,” Borkataki told The Telegraph.
The forest department keeps a record of the snakes released in the forest by the wildlife enthusiast. Only the other day, Borkataki rescued a python from a residence of Mora Bharali here.”He tried to pour phenyl on the python when I intervened and immediately washed off the substance with clean water. The python was treated and fed milk before being released in a forest,” Borkataki said. But how did it all start? “I have never been trained to catch snakes. It just happened. But the trigger was an incident back in 2000 when I lost my temper and slapped a man for killing a snake. But, thereafter, I resolved to protect the creatures come what may. That way, people here are also happy that they have someone to seek help from,” he said. Not just a friend of snakes, the man is a wildlife lover and has relocated many animals that strayed into human habitation.”Only the other day, I rescued two tokay geckos and released them into the wild,” Borkataki said.
“I have also rescued birds, such as eagles, and even tortoises, apart from a number of deer, which keep getting stranded during floods, and helped the forest department push back wild elephants in West Sonitpur forest division,” he said. During the 56th Wildlife Week celebrations in 2010, the state forest department acknowledged Borkataki’s outstanding contribution to conservation. He also received awards from the Sonitpur district administration and AASU.”Borkataki has been a great help as it is difficult to find people to do the kind of work he does. We coordinate with him quite regularly during a conservation mission. He is a brave man,” said Jasim Ahmed, assistant conservator of forests, West Sonitpur division.
Tags: Saurav Borkataki | An Eminent Wildlife Lover | Assam | Animal Rescuer | Wildlife Activist | Snake Man