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Controlling a venomous creature with the magical prowess of an instrument is an alluring attraction. Snake charming is the act of hypnotizing a snake with an instrument called Pungi. It’s an ancient practice that finds its roots in India. The poisonous snake in captivity doesn’t attack anyone watching. It only sways to the tune of the Pungi. As a result, this practice gains an entertaining element. 

Furthermore, it is not the sound coming out of the Pungi that hypnotizes the snake. In fact, snakes cannot even hear it. They do not have ears. What catches the snake’s attention is the opening of the Pungi. That’s why it looks like the snake is dancing to the charmer’s tune.

However, as of 1971, Snake Charming is banned in India. It is part of the Wildlife Protection Act. This decision is known to affect a number of tribes in the country. On the other hand, implementation of this law helps wildlife. It avoids snake exploitation. But you may ask–how does snake charming lead to exploitation? Well, to answer that, let’s begin by understanding that snake charming is not as harmless as it seems. 

1. Charmers capture Cobras

Why cobra, you ask? This species of snakes is relevant for two prominent reasons. Firstly, it is a very venomous snake. The venom extends till its neck ribs. This forms a hood.

Secondly, Hindu scriptures mention them. That is to say, cobras are significant religiously.

Therefore, snake charmers find it convenient to capture cobras for their practice. But, there has been a decrease in the cobra population. In fact, King Cobras are now very rare in most areas.

2. MADE TO LIVE IN CAPTIVITY

Charmers capture snakes from forests brutally. Away from their natural habitats, the environment in which the snakes are imprisoned is not safe for their survival. In conclusion, snakes and reptiles should not be uprooted from their habitats.

3. DEFANGING THE SNAKES

Charmers often defang their snakes. This assures that the charmer and his audience can watch the performance safely. The fangs are ripped out and mouths sewn shut.

But is this safe for the snake?

The answer is a blatant no. Without their fangs, snakes lose their ability to consume food. This leads to starvation resulting in death. 

Not only is this cruel, it is inhumane.

In conclusion, snake charming leads to exploitation of snakes endemic to certain areas. No animal should be used so cruelly. Alternatively, snake charmers are now rescuing snakes from crowded places. They then release them into the wild.

Visit WFN’s previous works to see how our community is working in this field.

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