Fifty-one-year-old Letty Msukelaa Mtshweni died in the Middelburg Provincial Hospital after she was bitten on her left hand by a “green snake” near the Loskop Dam, reports Middelburg Observer.
Head of the LimPuma Herpetological Association in Mpumalanga Victor Boshoff suspects that the woman was bitten by a Mozambique spitting cobra. This snake is olive green in colour, but many mistake it for being a brighter green.
Mtshweni told family members a green snake was in her bed and bit her. Her condition worsened rapidly and she was rushed to a hospital.
Another woman in the Marble Hall area was also bitten by a Mozambique spitting cobra on a farm after she heard her pet Jack Russells kicking up a fuss.
Outside, she saw the snake spitting at the dogs, and proceeded to beat the snake to death. She was bitten in the process.
Life24 ambulance services’ Mercia Baker said they received a call that a cobra had bitten the woman, and that paramedic Tebogo Mpai and snake expert Arthur Roden rushed to the scene.
Roden realised that the snake was actually a Mozambique spitting cobra, which is an extremely venomous species.
The area the woman was bitten in was marked and she was taken to Netcare Montana Hospital in Pretoria, where another snake expert Mike Perry waited with the anti-venom needed for the woman to survive.
The woman was in ICU for three days, and still experiences pain where she was bitten, but she is recovering well.
Roden emphasised that people must not kill snakes, and should rather contact him as soon as they come into contact with one on 076 635 6287.
Life24’s emergency number for reptile removal is 082 040 5003.
LimPuma Herpetological Association can be contacted on 083 638 4903.
This article was translated from Afrikaans by Nica Schreuder.