On Saturday, 59-year-old social worker and ex-servcieman Manoj Kumar Das received a call about a 5 ft long monocled cobra slithering in the backyard of a local home. Das, who has been rescuing snakes for over a decade, found that the snake was stuck in the backyard with major injuries on its belly. It sustained the injuries while it was trying to slither through a plastic-netted fence. Further, it was also attacked by a mongoose and was unable to move. So, Das decided to take the reptile for treatment to a vet.Next day, Das took the snake to a local veterinary hospital only to find its gate locked. Determined to help, he then decided to take it to the Fakir Mohan Medical College and Hospital, one of the 3 government medical colleges in the state. Wait, that’s not the strange part.
What’s unusual in the entire incident is that, at the hospital, Das registered the name of the reptile as Sapa (Odia for snake). Also adding, it’s a 7-year-old male.
When Das approached an attendant at the hospital to get the reptile treated, without revealing that it’s a snake, he was asked to get an OPD card. “When the man at the OPD counter asked me about the name of the patient, I said Sapa (Odia for snake). Then I was asked about its age and sex. I told him it was 7-year-old male snake,” said Das, after he paid Rs 2 as OPD charges. The snake also got an OPD no.
Soon, the paramedical staffs were presented with a scary surprise when Das took out the injured patient - Sapa - from his bag. They refused to bandage it. The paramedics told him to show the reptile to the doctor who got equally terrified when Das requested him to treat the snake.
“I was taken aback when the man took out the cobra. I immediately referred it to veterinary hospital,” said Dr Bishnu Hansdah. However, the doctor prescribed an antiseptic ointment which Das applied on the snake with the help of a hospital paramedic.
Das said his decision to take the snake to the medical college-cum-hospital was deliberate as he wanted to raise awareness about snakes and the need to keep a veterinary hospital open for 24 hours.“Like humans, animals too need immediate treatment and the veterinary hospital needs to be open for longer hours. Besides, all snakes are not venomous,” he said.
After the snake healed a little, Das released it on Monday. “Their metabolism is very high and so they heal pretty quickly. Yesterday too I rescued another injured snake and released it today after applying some ointment,” he added, reports Hindustan Times.