Look out, snake season is upon us

With spring in the air and the weather nice and warm, snakes will now be up and about, after a long period of brumation, hungry and in search of food.

The metro cautions pet owners to be on high alert and keep an eye on their domestic pets as they may fall prey to snakes.

From mid-August until late May it is snake season and a number of snakes which are harmless to humans, such as the brown house snake, Aurora house snake, olive house snake and red-lipped snake are likely to be found in gardens searching for food like rats and cats.

Due to their harmless and less defensive nature, these species tend to be easily killed or captured as pets, an illegal and punishable act if one does not have a legal permit.

Meanwhile, snakes such the puff adder and rinkhals are extremely dangerous, with the puff adder known to be very instinctive, slow in pace and quick to sense danger.

 

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The rinkhals or ring-necked cobra is a fast moving multi-feeder which is good at faking death.

It is easily identified by the two white stripes that are visible across its neck when it spreads its hood.

Things to do when you come across a snake:

• Give the snake right of way.

• You can scream and shout but don’t jump or move.

• Keep a distance of about five metres from the snake as some snakes can spit poison.

• Watch where the snake ends up so you can locate the reptile once you’ve contacted an expert.

• Do not try to kill the snake; trying to kill the snake may lead to the danger of snake bites.

• Call for help.

What to do if you are bitten by a snake or if a snake spits in your eyes or on an open wound:

• Do not panic.

• Do not run or try to drive yourself.

• Do not take it for granted.

• Get medical attention as soon as possible.

Should residents come across snakes in their residential areas, they can contact Christopher Mthombeni on 011 999 3029 or 083 239 7774 or e-mail [email protected] for assistance.

You may also contact a local snake expert.

 

Have a story?

Contact the newsroom by emailing: Melissa Hart (Editor) [email protected], Leigh Hodgson (journalist) [email protected] or Puleng Sekabate (journalist) [email protected].

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Germiston City News

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