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Posted by W von Papineäu on May 04, 2003 at 21:09:05:
TIMES OF INDIA (New Delhi) 05 May 03 Russians freeze cobra in action
Bangalore: They had come to capture the cobra manoeuvres of Indian pilots on lens. Instead, they ‘shot’ the live cobras. The city’s reptile rescue and conservation programme is getting global media attention with many filming crews flying down to Bangalore to freeze the action.
The silicon city of India has been cleared of 415 venomous and nonvenomous snakes this summer alone. And the fact that the city houses the largest number of snakes in the country is no longer a secret. The latest film shot in Bangalore was by the crew accompanying the 300-member Russian team, which visited India during the five-day Aero India show. The crew drew parallels between the cobra manoeuvre techniques adopted by Indian pilots while flying the most advanced fighter jets, the Russian-based Sukhoi, and the real cobra in action.
The documentary is now being aired on Russian TV channel — TVS — with a viewership covering 80 million households. “We wanted to document the cobra manoeuvre technique, but considering the large numbers of snakes being rescued from urban habitats everyday, we ended up filming the conservation programme,’’ says production team leader Anna Gorshkova.
Anna and cameramen Ilya Zimin and Boris Andsiserov followed reptile conservationist Mohammed Anees in his rescue operations covering Richmond Town, Boopasandra, Whitefield and Banaswadi. The film shows a cobra being rescued from underneath a stone slab in the backyard of a residence, kitchen, garden, a bedroom and on a tree. Of the five calls which were filmed, four were cobras and the other was a rat snake. “It is a feast to watch Indian pilots flying the Sukhoi as against Anees’ technique of handling snakes,’’ says Anna. “It’s surprising that I have been receiving calls from Russian viewers asking me if the snakes were for real,’’ she laughs. Two other Russian crews are finalising dates with Anees to film a similar programme. Earlier, another UK-based film crew working for Discovery Channel filmed a one-hour documentary based on myths of the common cobra and the king cobra.