Bargarh: After videos of a youth and some girls performing dangerous stunts with venomous snakes went viral on social media a few days back, the Bargarh Forest Department today arrested the youth on charges of violating Wildlife Protection Act.

On the basis of complaints lodged by several people before the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), the Forest department has arrested Rohit Meher, informed Bargarh Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) P. Sandeep.

The forest official added that young girls shown in the videos kissing snakes will also be brought under the purview of the probe. This apart, investigation will be done to find out how much money Rohit has earned from these videos.

Rohit had allegedly posted several videos of stunts with venomous snakes including Cobra on social media which were liked and shared by many. People from different quarters had raised concerns about the rampant exploitation of reptiles to create videos to attract attention on social media and earn money.

“Snake charmers who used to earn a living through such acts have already stopped the practice, but today, educated boys and girls are getting into such cruel acts for money,” said Honorary Wildlife Warden, Khurda, Subhendu Mallick.

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