Home News Dept issues snake warning

Dept issues snake warning

2497
SHARE

MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Land Reform and Rural Development, Mase Manopole, has issued a warning of increased snake activity in the Province following the onset of warmer temperatures.

A puff adder. Picture Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

THE NORTHERN Cape MEC for Agriculture, Environmental Affairs, Land Reform and Rural Development, Mase Manopole, has issued a warning of increased snake activity in the Province following the onset of warmer temperatures.

Manopole also indicated that the recent good rainfall throughout the Province might force some snakes out of their flooded shelters.

“An increase in frogs, lizards and newborn birds after the rain will result in more snake encounters since snakes in our Province are mostly inactive during winter and therefore need to obtain food when it becomes warmer.

She explained that springtime is also the mating season for many snake species.

Residents have been urged to be alert of snake encounters in gardens or sometimes in houses, especially houses close to open velds in Kimberley.

“If you have rubble or rubbish close to your house it may also attract snakes, since it provides shelter for them and attracts mice and rats, a food source for many snake species.”

Members of the public have been warned against attempting to catch a snake in their house or garden, unless they have been trained in the safe removal of venomous snakes and are permitted to do so.

“Several people in the Province have been trained to assist in this regard. It must also be noted that even if a person obtained the necessary training to be able to handle snakes, they are also required to have a valid permit from the department in order to remove snakes and relocate them to a safe place.”

Manopole stated that it is illegal to kill snakes in the Province without the necessary permit to do so.

“Snakes play an important role in our ecosystems since they control other animal species, such as mice and rats, which can spread diseases to humans.”

A total of 55 different snake species are found in the Northern Cape Province, although only five are considered to be potentially dangerous.

“These species are the Puff Adder (Bitis arietans), the Cape Cobra (Naja nivea), the Cape Coral Snake (Aspidelaps lubricus lubricus), the Black Spitting Cobra (Naja nigricollis woodi) and the Boomslang (Dispholidus typus typus).”