“I had to keep snakes at home during Chennai floods as there was no transportation. I handed over the snakes to Forest Department when the flood subsided,” says 26-year-old Shravan Krishnan who now runs a hotel for dogs.
Shravan Krishnan loved playing cricket so much that he wanted to become a professional player. As a youngster, he played in several state-level matches as well, but after his spinal injury, it was not advisable for him to continue cricket. Despite being heartbroken that his dreams were destroyed, Shravan moved ahead to put his efforts to a good cause and work towards animal welfare.
As a child, Shravan always enjoyed watching National Geographic channel rather than cartoons. He was involved in caring for animals from a very young age. After his spinal surgery, he rented a room for dogs with the money he earned from playing cricket. He uploaded the photos on social media and got a great response. But, since the room was small, there wasn’t enough space to accommodate all the dogs, and it also didn’t have open space. This was when he decided to start a hotel for dogs with open areas for them to run and rejuvenate. The hotel has large, climate controlled enclosures. It has a grooming parlor, pick up and drop facilities, and also a swimming pool for the dogs.
All this, besides the regular 10-15 calls that he gets on a given day, requesting him to rescue, say, a snake, a wildcat or sometimes, even a bat.
“It’s been a stressful week,” says the 25-year-old, who turned into a social media hero overnight after he rescued the dog that was thrown off a three-story building by two medical college students in Chennai.
Shravan, however, has been a superhero of sorts in Chennai for some time now.
Every time somebody spots a snake at their home, or an animal gets injured, the chances are that a panic-stricken call will go to Krishnan and his animal rescuer friends, who live in different parts of the city.
HE HAS RESCUED 1500 SNAKES, SEVERAL BLACK BUCKS, JACKALS, PANGOLINS, SPOTTED DEER, INDIAN BLACK KITES AND MONITOR LIZARDS.
Shravan has also been a part of Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Conservation programme for the last 11 years and has organized hundreds of awareness camps. He is now working towards starting a rescue center for wild animals.
He says, “We as humans have already done a lot of harm to the animals and habitat. And now it is time to rescue the surviving species to support the ecosystem. People fear snakes and think all the snakes are venomous, but they should know that not all snakes are dangerous.” He also adds that this idea of all snakes being dangerous is so deep that even when he picks up non-venomous snakes, people say he is “God.”
He is happy that people appreciate and acknowledge his work. His parents are his pillars of strength, and support him in all his decisions.
Shravan now wants to educate children to participate in animal welfare activities to preserve the delicate balance of the ecosystem.
Shravan in his habitat at what he does best!
MY NEIGHBOURHOOD IS SCARED OF ME. THEY WILL NEVER ABUSE AN ANIMAL, BECAUSE THEY KNOW I WILL IMMEDIATELY GO TO THE POLICE
Now, along with other animal rights activists in Chennai, Shravan is trying to build a Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre. They are in the process of drafting a proposal addressed to the Tamil Nadu government, seeking a place for the rehabilitation of wild animals.