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Understanding biodiversity and the snakes on Krea campus

Sri City, 18 October 2019…A 60-minute session on how to identify common snakes, understand their ecological role, deal with snakebite, and break common myths about snakes was conducted for the students and staff of Krea University at Sri City on 17 and 18 October 2019.

Titled “Living with the Snakes of Krea Campus”, the sessions were very well attended, with over 100 students from the School of Interwoven Arts and Sciences and 300 students from the Graduate School of Business in attendance. Conducted by Mr. Gnaneswar Ch. from the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, Mamallapuram, the exercise was very informative.

Krea University’s Sri City campus is a natural habitat for snakes and amphibians as it is surrounded by a wetland ecosystem and agricultural land. As most of our students and faculty enjoy outdoor activities, and it is also our collective responsibility to become aware of snakes and their behaviour and learn to live with them - rather than consider them our enemies.

And to kickstart this effort, Mr. Gnaneswar Ch. from the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust was invited to address the students and staff about living in an ecosystem that includes snakes. He also gave many valuable tips and insights on how to identify common snakes, deal with snakebites, and busted a few common myths about snakes.

“Snakes are more scared of us than we are of them” he said, and “non-venomous snakes mimic venomous snakes to avoid becoming prey to predators”. Conservation and caution was the message that came across from this interaction with Mr. Gnaneswar, and it echoed Krea’s policy of peaceful co-existence. Mr. Gnaneswar also conducted snake walks on both nights, to help students and staff understand the surroundings better and be aware of the safety precautions they need to take to be safe on campus.

“The talk was quite unorthodox, but something that’s heavily required for the people living in the Krea University campus, where snakes are in plenty and necessitate people to be aware of how to live in coexistence with them” said Tanay Mittal, an SIAS student, by way of feedback after the session.

Shreyasi Patil, another SIAS student commented “The balance between education and entertainment was well done. The session had its impact long after it was done. There were moments in the session when students got to understand the university's policies regarding snakes. I feel the session has brought in seriousness among students in preventing snake bites as well as the need for conservation. There was a clear emphasis on co-existing and I believe it helped students”.

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