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Myanmar monk runs a snake sanctuary to save them from black market. Watch

A Buddhist temple in the city of Yangon has been turned into a snake sanctuary for pythons and cobras and vipers and saves them from the black market. The sanctuary is run by Wilatha, a monk at the temple. “I always check on their health every morning. I feel from the bottom of my heart that they are my sons and daughters.” The snakes are usually caught in or near homes, brought here by members of the community.

“If I don’t save these snakes and shelter them here, these snakes will be sold off in the black market. If so, the python would be extinct in Myanmar in the future. I believe that losing even one animal species will cause problems for nature. Even though we don’t know specifically about their benefit to nature, the species are helping our environment.” Conservationists say snakes are often smuggled to neighboring countries like China and Thailand, where they’re eaten or used to make traditional medicine.

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