Once they’ve wowed a crowd for a few coins, they’re tossed aside to die as the charmer moves on to the next snake in his collection. For one thing, according to Wuster, the cobra’s striking range is basically the extent to which the snake is reared up, which is only up to one third of its total length (rattlesnakes, by contrast, have a striking range of about one-half their body lengths.) Magical origins aside, the act is a cruel, money-making spin. Even non-venoumous snakes like the hognose snake will do it – but the hognose doesn’t bite. 10 Books to Read About Infectious Disease & Pandemics. "We do not cut the fangs off the snakes as that would be cruel," says the tribal chief. They will often replicate the movement of their prey or whatever is threatening them to be in the attacking range. And for many Westerners, their first introduction to India was a cartoon or movie image of a snake charmer with a flute, a basket, and a swaying cobra. “Vipers [such as rattlesnakes] strike outward in a punching movement,” explains Darryl Frost. While Whit Gibbons estimates that some cobras have venom 20 times more powerful than that of a rattlesnake, judging the potency of such poisons is difficult, and the deadliness of any one bite will depend on a complex mix of factors relating both to the snake and its victim. The act of charming a snake with a flute or ‘pungi’ is based on incorrect facts, as in reality snakes don’t have ears and therefore cannot hear the music being played. Ban… The Indian cobra, like most snakes, is protected under Schedule II, Part II of the act (however, tigers and the Asian elephants are Schedule I species, and are thus afforded more protections). The reality is that cobras found in urban areas are nearly always killed, and charges are rarely if ever filed. One of them has been creating our 24-hour reptile rescue for large cities like Delhi and Agra. So the “charmer” knows how far back to sit. Fact: Snakes are efficient hunters and fierce creatures if threatened. Snake charming is the practice of appearing to hypnotize a snake (often a cobra) by playing and waving around an instrument called a pungi. http://wildlife-odisha.blogspot.com/2009/01/truth-behind-snake-charming.html. The cobras are fed a herbal mixture which Madari says renders the snake's deadly poison useless. It’s a charade. With increased awareness and constant demonstrations from wildlife activists about the cruel handling of snakes, a drastic decrease in the number of snake charmers performing publicly have been noticed off late. And, says cobra researcher Dr. Wolfgang Wuster of the University of Wales, it’s not surprising they would stand up in a “charming” situation. Snake charming, in fact, may be most dangerous of all to the seemingly “charmed” life of the cobra. Did you know that simply copying someone else’s text is plagiarism? “They don’t hear in the sense that we do,” clarifies Darryl Frost, curator in the department of herpetology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Your email address will not be published. These methods don’t simply disable the snake’s only means of defense, they remove its ability to even feed itself or digest, essentially condemning the animal to an extended, excruciating death. Maybe not, but they aren’t entirely unaware of the sound either. While this service is designed to keep snakes and people safe in the short term, it also helps keep wild populations healthy. “They do it to look larger, more threatening. “It says ‘Watch out, I am a cobra and dangerous, just go away and leave me alone, and we’ll both live happily ever after’. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. “It says ‘… People resorting to this sort of subsistence living tend to come from communities that suffer high rates of illiteracy and poverty. It’s not courageous. Removing or rescuing potentially deadly snakes is not an easy task, nor is it very glamorous. Other snake charmers also have a snake and mongoose show, where both the animals have a mock fight; however, this is not very common, as the snakes, as well as the mongooses, may be seriously injured or killed. “But they’re very sensitive to vibrations, so they would certainly be aware of the music.”. Exoticized as ‘tradition’ in India, the profession of snake charming is one that is rife with cruelty and mistreatment of these poor misunderstood reptiles. Why not try to write you own stuff rather than being a copy/paste artist? Once released from prison, a lack of opportunities would likely funnel them back into the very same trade again. These snakes are their livelihood, and that is why they look after the snakes very well. The cobras are fed a herbal mixture which Madari says renders the snake's deadly poison useless. As reprehensible as their trade certainly is, many of them seek redemption if given another way by which to feed their families, and we are an organization that believes in second chances. And, says cobra researcher Dr. Wolfgang Wuster of the University of Wales, it’s not surprising they would stand up in a “charming” situation. Well a look at the elements of snake charming shows that the answer to that question is both yes – and no. Belly dancing with pythons, and for that matter snake charming can be done humanely, but usually is not. What many of us are distressed to discover is that these animals endure shockingly inhumane treatment; they live their prematurely short lives in tiny, dark baskets only to die painful deaths. How does a snake charmer “charm” a cobra into not inflicting a venomous bite? Thousands of people die from snake bites each year, and as a result, snakes are feared and even despised in some areas. I will be glade to tell to people who is the original author, or also to contact him for publishing permission, but I don’t know his name! Satyanarayan said the illusion of the poisonous snake tamed and charmed by music is often based on very cruel practices. “Second, the flute is a rather hard object, and once the cobra has bitten it a few times, it will probably learn that this is both painful and futile, and desist in future.”. http://wildlife-odisha.blogspot.com/2009/01/truth-behind-snake-charming.html, Your email address will not be published. As well as discouraging tourists, the practice is also cruel to snakes. “Many snake charmers remove the fangs from the cobras, or even excise the fang-bearing jaw bone. The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 in India technically proscribes snake charming on grounds of reducing animal cruelty. Of course maybe the other guy copied from you? Most people in India, where huge numbers of people are killed by snakes, would disagree. When the snakes rise up to the tune of a flute, it has nothing to do with ‘being charmed’; their owners starve the creatures, feeding them only when they emerge from the basket, so that they associate the noodly music with food. The deadly reptile begins to sway as he plays his gourd flute. It is true, the cobras were usually butchered, but even if not, the over handling can kill the snakes. 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The snake’s fangs have by then been ripped out or crushed, and its venom glands have been crudely disabled by gouging them out or bursting them. The flutist sits cross-legged in his turban and robes, issuing such a beautifully hypnotic sound that even the deadliest of serpents cannot help but be entranced by it. It is simply a cruelty-laced means of earning money off the poaching, misery, and torture of an innocent animal. They swear the snake-charming Cajun women Walk on the water I know a girl from Karachi Take her on a date and be cruel Or we can sit at home With a bottle of booze And nothing better to do What does it matter Why do you cry 'Cause all the back broke brothers That have been there before They swear the snake-charming Cajun women Walk on the water 'We do not cut the fangs off the snakes as that would be cruel,' the tribal chief said. But they’re all extremely dangerous – right? “Cobras are generally reluctant to strike, and many specimens will rear up for a considerable period of time when cornered, but will not attempt to strike,” says Wolfgang Wuster. Question 14. 12 Festive Almond Vegan Desserts for the Holidays! It’s certainly not charming. Furthermore, some charmers do not feed their cobras, but simply go out and catch more when their snakes die off. “I have four sons. The “snake charmer” on the New Delhi street sits cross-legged in front of the basket and begins to play his flute. And it means fewer snake charmers abusing innocent animals on the streets. “While this crude “training” is probably not particularly cruel, the treatment received by the cobras in many cases is,” says Wolfgang Wuster. Learn how your comment data is processed. But standing is very natural to a cobra – most can raise about a third of their body lengths. Snakecharmer performances still happen in other Asian nations such as Pakistan. 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