We go to the “rehabilitation center” at the community forest where a day earlier Manoj was challenging their practices, and now, forging a relationship, making a donation. He handed over the snakes, showed them how to build a proper enclosure, how to handle the snakes, what kinds of lights to use to keep them warm. They signed a paper acknowledging the receipt, which would go to the department of forestry.

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They had a baby monkey tied to a rope. It wasn’t injured or sick, so it’s not clear why they haven’t released it, except that it’s providing endless entertainment for half the neighborhood. There was a crowd of guys laughing at its antics, then kicking it when it got too frisky. They took a little puppy and tossed him in the monkey’s reach. The monkey pounced and they wrestled for about a minute until the puppy started yelping desperately. It was one of those moments where you don’t know whether to laugh or be outraged.

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Manoj did not intervene; he had to chose his battles. The most important thing at this point was to make an alliance, gain trust, and give the snakes a safe new home where they had a chance of survival, not fix everything at once.

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