We would like to introduce you to an extraordinary individual who has made an indelible mark in both the fields of wildlife rescue and the digital landscape. Abhirup Kadam, better known as the “Hottest Mowgli,” is not only a renowned wildlife rescuer but also a captivating social media influencer.
With his unwavering passion for conservation and a unique ability to connect with people through various online platforms, Abhirup has emerged as a prominent figure, inspiring millions to take an active role in protecting our planet’s precious fauna. Join me as we dive into the remarkable journey of this multifaceted personality, exploring his unwavering dedication to wildlife rescue and the influential role he plays in raising awareness through the power of social media.
How did your journey start?
I am a one-child and a nature kid. I will focus on my upbringing first. My mom and dad thought me to conserve nature and save animals and I thought that how much nature means to us. If you talk about my wildlife-rescuing journey then it started at a very early age. As I grew up I recognized there are a lot of things that people need to know there are a lot of myths that people should be aware of. It may be snakes, nature or wildlife. I mainly focused on how to make them aware of these and also how to conserve wildlife.
Are humans more dangerous than animals?
People even ask me today, do you rescue all animals? So I always answer them, apart from humans, if any animal needs help, just give me a buzz and I will be there to help. Humans are more dangerous. It is the only animal that will hurt you with its tongue. I prefer staying away from humans and living in the jungle in between animals. It is very fun. Everyone needs to learn how to deal with particular people and that is the need of the hour.
Which was the deadliest encounter till now?
I will talk about the riskiest rescue till now. Recently, there is a new under-construction bridge. So, many mangroves were cut during the construction. So on that pillar, a python got stuck in the raw materials that were being used for the construction and it was a chaotic situation. I got down to the location with the help of the crane. You can surely visit my YouTube channel to see the rescue. Every situation might turn risky if our approach is not ethically correct. You need to be very conscious, very specific about your moments and thoughts as well. ‘Har ek kadam fuk fuk k daalna hai’. Life is all about this. If you ask me what your drug is, I would say this is my drug. The majority of the time I am Mowgli, rarely do people know me by my name. The moment I see some animal in danger, at that time my focus shifts only to that animal, how I save it and stuff. It is super fun.
How many snake bites do you have right now?
Snake bites are not a thing that I would like to flex on. It is not something I am proud of. Accidents are part of life. I will not say that the animal is responsible for it in any way. The moment the animal reacts, it is purely on the side of the defence. I have faced such accidents 4 times till now. I have been bitten by venomous snakes 4 times now. You directly start seeing your death. One moment arises when you start believing you are going to die. I have got many scars on my body. I am a science student and it was my 12th board exam time. I got a call for the rescue. Basically, I have an organization and a team of 50-60 people who work on this stuff. It was a situation in a slum in Chembur. There was a power cut at night and I got a call at midnight and I reached there. Somebody had spotted a big snake. It was a 6-foot-long female Cobra. She was pregnant and was looking for a safe place to lay eggs. She somehow managed to get into a dark place of 10×10 room and everyone just saw her going inside the room. I did not have my head torch at that moment. So, I asked a person to hold the torch as I cannot do it myself. When I approached her, she made a sound and it echoed in the room and sounded loud. The person holding the torch just ran off. It was just me and a cobra in a dark room. I felt she pinned me on my hand and I was like damn! I am done. Because the next day was my final board exam and I had not informed my parents about the rescue. I managed to get out of the room, I rushed to the hospital because anti-snake venom is the only medicine that can cure you from the snake bite. To be more specific, anti-snake venom is only available in a government hospital because it might be also someone poisoned or other such cases where police interference takes place. As soon as I reached the hospital and I came to know that the dose was expired. To arrange the anti-snake venom, it took about 4-5 hours. My nervous system had slowed down, I could feel pressure on my lungs, and my body parts had stopped functioning because of the venom. I recovered after that situation, it took a lot of time. But my parents never asked me to stop all this. My dad is a professor and my mom is also a principal. My family background had been educational but my dad had a hobby of rescuing wild animals. It was my hobby turned into a passion and now it had turned into my work. There are roughly around 50000 people in India who die due to snake bites in India. That is not because the snakes here are very venomous or because medications are improper. The main and primary reason for this is people have a lot of superstitions. I believe 50000 people dying because of this stupid reason is not done. Snake rescuing is just 1% of the work that I do, my 99% main focus is to create awareness about all these things.
What all pets do you have?
I have a snake–ball python named Inchi. He is a kid, he is non-venomous. Indian snakes are venomous and this is an exotic species. You have to register it with the forest department. Inchi is almost 5 and a half years. When I bought him, he was just 10 inches long. I take Inchi and other few of my babies to schools and colleges for awareness purposes and teach kids about how to handle them. I have one more pet snake named Athina. Athina means the goddess of wealth. One is Wiz, based on the rapper’s name Wiz Khalifa, because it is black and yellow and he has a son named black and yellow.
Have you started social media for awareness?
My Social media thing was very random. One fine random evening I and my few friends were chilling and thought that we can reach a wider audience for awareness. One day we just shot a random video and it burst. It got viral, people started following as they were seeing something new. I realized I can reach a wider audience and then I started my YouTube journey. People loved watching.
How many rescues do you do every day?
I own an organization, named Maharashtra Animal Rescue Association, in short MARA. It operates all over Maharashtra. You can give us a buzz for any animal rescue. We have a helpline number – 9322719307. You can connect to this helpline number from all over India. We will try to reach the location the fastest possible. Specifically, let’s talk about the rescues then 25-30 rescues per day are carried out by us. It can be any animal, a cat, a dog, or a monkey. Your one phone call can change an animal’s life. All animals are important to nature, we need to connect to nature. You can’t go against nature. Nature won’t take a snatch to destroy things. We all need development but not compromise with nature. There are a lot of species residing in the forest and this generation needs to know about the importance of this and act accordingly.
What do you do apart from rescuing for a living?
Content creation is my main focus these days. I also don’t gather funds for my organization.
Can people do content creation for a living?
Yes for sure. Today, at present you can completely rely on content creation. It is a mainstream thing you can do. If your content is cool, unique and fun, you earn everything, you can do whatever you want. Content creation is crazy stuff. It is going to bloom more. It is going to be more interesting. You all are going to see more influencers and more engaging stuff. A person can earn a good lifestyle because of it.
How would you define your content?
I have been through events and they ask me how you can define my content category. So I cannot specify my category here. It is more of a lifestyle including animals and wildlife and nature, but also I do vlogs, it is a mixture of lifestyle where I portray animals and my pets and it is also informative and it is also casual and fun. It is a mixture of 3-4 concepts. I guess categorizing it is difficult.
How did you grow on social media? What was the turning point?
This was super random. I got my first major reach on YouTube. My Instagram handle was super crazy. Casual talks and stuff. I had never seen my Instagram account to be professional. Somewhere in June-July 2019, I made an account on YouTube and I remember it was August 14th that I uploaded my first video. It was a rescue scene. It was a very crazy rainy day and I had to rescue. It was in Kurla near the post office. Water logging everywhere. There was a snake on the first floor and it was a construction site. There was a baby python over there on the window. It was raining crazy and rescued it and made a vlog on it and it was fun shooting it. It started blooming. Within a month I had 1000 subscribers. There are also new things coming up. Always it is a learning face.
How does it feel to be famous now?
People in my area, in my locality, knew that there is someone called Mowgli, who has snakes and does some stuff. People knew me and were fascinated. But later after social media bloomed, many people had various reactions to me and that felt great. Sometimes it gets awkward when I roam in shorts with my family and people click pictures. But I like all this.
Do your parents like all this?
At home, it was a total destruction. As I am from a science background and I had snake bites and all and my family thought I am not focused. They always wanted me to do veterinary. Earning money was never in my mind. I was never fascinated by luxury. Mom and Dad always had a fear that what will I do, how would my future look like. This was a little hard to make them understand and then everything was okay. They just approached me to have a degree and do whatever I want to do.
Abhirup Kadam is an exceptional individual who has seamlessly merged his love for wildlife rescue with the digital world. Through his remarkable work as a wildlife rescuer and his influential presence on social media, he has captivated audiences around the globe, inspiring them to embrace conservation and become active participants in safeguarding our planet’s wildlife.
Abhirup’s ability to connect with people through various online platforms has allowed him to amplify his message and ignite a passion for conservation in the hearts of millions. With his unwavering dedication and infectious enthusiasm, Abhirup Kadam continues to make a significant impact, reminding us of the importance of preserving our natural world for generations to come.