Vasai, 9th January 2024: Rubina D’mello, a resident of Vasai (east), faces charges from Maharashtra forest officials for the killing of a cobra that entered her housing society. The incident came to light when PETA India activists submitted video evidence revealing D’mello’s brutal act, where she fatally struck the snake with a stick, despite the reptile attempting to seek refuge behind a parked cycle in Taurus CHS, Evershine City, Sector 5.
Deputy Conservator of Forests (Dahanu division), Madhumitha S, confirmed that a preliminary offence report (POR) has been filed against D’mello under sections 9, 39, and 51 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The cobra, classified as a highly protected species under Schedule 1 of the Act, triggered the legal action.
PETA India’s Cruelty Response Coordinator, Sunayana Basu, highlighted the lack of fear or compassion displayed by D’mello in the video evidence as she attacked the cobra. Basu urged forest officials to take strict action against D’mello, emphasizing that the snake could have been safely rescued by a snake rescuer and released into the wild. Basu also noted D’mello’s attempt to destroy evidence by burning the snake’s body.
Wildlife experts emphasized that all snakes, whether venomous or non-venomous, are protected species. They advised citizens to contact snake rescuers or forest authorities when encountering snakes in residential areas. The Maharashtra Forest Department helpline number is 1926, and citizens can also seek assistance from the local fire brigade, trained to handle snake-related situations.