Sri Lanka's cobra girl told her 'mom was a snake'


Nirosha Wimalaratne, a snake dancer in a Colombo night club has been reunited with her pet cobra after winning a legal battle following a month-long ordeal.

The 21-year-old 'Cobra Girl' from Colombo had been arrested after being charged for keeping a snake in her possession under the Animals Ordinance and Cruelty to Animals Act and, the Dangerous Animals Act.

Her troubles began when police raided the Cleopatra Night Club at the Liberty Plaza in Colombo at dawn in August.

She was remanded while her companion was handed over to the Dehiwala Zoo on a court order.

However, Colombo Fort Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne ordered on Friday that the pet cobra be returned to Nirosha who is of Indian origin and adopted by a Sri Lankan couple.

When she got her snake back on Tuesday, December 11, she was quoted as saying in the Sunday Times online: “I usually sleep a lot, but, because of the mental agony, I could not sleep even after my tiring performance at the club that went on until the wee hours, because I was deprived of my pet cobra.”

She also plans to file a Fundamental Rights case against the Kollupitya police, for ill-treating her after arresting her.

“Dilani Chopra is my Indian name,” said Nirosha, who was adopted by Sri Lankan parents from Danthure, Kandy in the central province. She attended Danthure Central College. She claimed to be a lonely child who was underfed, as her adopted parents, who were once well-to-do, had become poor.

She says she does not remember much about her childhood, and what made her parents give her up for adoption.

Her adopted parents would not tell her what made them adopt her, but only told her that it was “a long story”.

But she remembers her Iranian father telling her that her mother was a snake. “I don’t believe him, but I believe some species of cobras could change their shapes,” she said.

She also said that their parents had separate rooms in their home. “I think my father wanted to separate me from my mother,” Nirosha said in a broken voice. Although both mother and daughter were in touch with each other, her mother always wanted to be away from her.

“I missed my family, especially my mother, so much,” she said.

Her mother too kept snakes she claimed, adding that her mother had a king cobra which can let out a jet stream of poison, at their home at Nashik in India.

Her fascination for cobras started during her childhood in Sri Lanka.

She had started raring a cobra in Dodanwela Dewalaya (religious place) in the neighborhood. She brought the cobra down to Colombo to show her friends, and intended returning it to the dewalaya.

“But unfortunately, the police arrested me on the previous day, and filed a case against me, alleging that I had ill-treated my pet,” she said.

The Cobra Girl also has a pet toque macaque and enjoys travelling.

Apart from that, she lives her life just like any other woman. She wants to start life anew, and dreams of visiting India to see her mother.

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