They may not be the most in-demand housemates or neighbours, but snakes have, or more correctly, have had to adapt to urban living as suburbs expand and natural habitats shrink consequently.
Of course, this means that a growing number of slithery friends are moving into gardens, sheds and homes from Boksburg in Gauteng through to Durban’s sub-tropical greenery. Snake catchers are called out to round up everything from harmless Mole snakes through to deadly Black Mambas and Cape Cobras.
Nick Evans, an expert on everything scaly and his cameraman Tyrone Marcus return to the People’s Weather Channel this week for a second installment of Snake Season. The eight part show is similar in style to the hit National Geographic series Snakes in The City, also based in the hotbed of snake spotting, Durban. But the show feels more real, more authentic and viewers are drawn into an adventure with bodycams and close-up camera work. It’s an adventure and we get to share in it. “It was as if the humans all went into Covid lockdown and the snakes stuck their heads out and said hello!” says Evans, who also runs KwaZulu-Natal Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.
Evans says that filming occurred during the rainy season and led to a bumper season of rescuing large numbers of dangerous snakes. “While more people being in lockdown at home led to an increase in sightings, we also began filming at a time when snakes are very active, with a good rainy season and some hot weather.” Tense moments are aplenty with challenging rescues that include some nifty tree climbing, a roof that is about to collapse, the deconstruction of a tiled roof to capture two Mambas and a muddy hunt for an African Python amongst other adventures. Evans even got a marriage proposal after rescuing a damsel in distress while the opportunity to witness snakes hatching on camera is priceless.
“Highlights include two double black mamba captures, saving a dog that had been bitten by a black mamba, being spat at by a Mozambique spitting cobra and finding those gravid (pregnant) snakes,” says Evans. Throughout the show, Evans narrates in a witty, dry-ish manner and takes the viewer into his world, and clear love for these animals.
Snake Season started this week and will be broadcast over two weeks with new episodes daily from Monday to Thursday at 18:00 and 21:00 with a repeat at 10:30 and 14:00 the following day. There will also be an omnibus shown on the weekend.