23 November, 2020

Cold Slither, Warm Embrace

He lives with snakes and scorpions. Spreading awareness about reptiles is his mission

Cold Slither, Warm Embrace
A python coiled up in a corner, a couple of jet black scorpions crawling up the wall, monitors slithering by. It’s not on Discovery or Animal Planet. Lucknow’s Ali Hasnain Abid Faiz actually shares his habitat with them. "They have to be left in the open sometime for they too enjoy their bit of freedom," says Faiz who has a special passion for reptiles. "They are the most ill-treated by us humans," he adds as he picks up a python to caress it. Faiz rattles off the various ways these reptiles help to maintain the ecological balance. He explains how snakes eat rats and help farmers and that one tiny scorpion eats about 30 grams of insects in one night.

His compassion for reptiles began when he was ten. A snake had loitered into their garden one night and his elder brother beat it to death. That very night, the young Faiz swore to protect snakes and other reptiles from "cruel" humans. The ten-year-old boy began to study reptiles, their habits and fears. He also mastered the art of distinguishing a poisonous snake from a non-poisonous one.

Today, Faiz houses injured and...



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