In the search for the equilibrium between human expansion and wildlife conservation, encounters with nature’s beasts are inevitable
Two of Southern Africa’s most poisonous snakes were rescued by the Roodepoort/ Krugersdorp SPCA on Thursday, 21 January.
A snouted cobra squeezed its slithery body under a Muldersdrift family’s couch and a Constantia Kloof gardener was startled when a boomslang disguised itself as a moving branch. Both snakes were handed to Johannesburg Wildlife.
Mike Allen of the Roodepoort/ Krugersdorp SPCA attended to both calls in the space of less than an hour. He had spent most of his life working with animals, dedicating the last 10 years to the SPCA after leaving the police’s mounted unit.
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“Snakes are more scared of us than we are of them. If you give them a chance to escape, they will take it,” he advised.
Both snake species are more commonly found north of Gauteng, but these could either be ‘hitchhikers’ or roamers from threatened habitats. Mike believes there is no need for concern as humans are not on the snakes’ menu. Snouted cobras mainly eat rodents whereas the boomslang, as the name suggests, is a tree snake that dines on birds and their nests.
“If someone does gets bitten though, get to a hospital as soon as possible. Do not try to kill the snake as this might cause someone else to get bitten too,” suggested Mike.
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Should anyone encounter a snake they are asked to remain calm, note its colouring and call the Roodepoort/ Krugersdorp SPCA immediately on 011 672 0448.
This article was republished from Roodepoort Record with permission