Home News WATCH: Residents living in fear of snakes

WATCH: Residents living in fear of snakes

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Residents of Natasha Street in Homestead have complained about an increase in ’deadly’ snakes entering their yards and homes.

Pictures: Supplied

THE RESIDENTS of Natasha Street in Homestead have complained about an increase in “deadly” snakes entering their yards and homes due to the overgrown veld that is situated between their properties and the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s wastewater treatment plant.

They have called on the municipality to clean up the area, which they say has become a “health hazard” to the neighbourhood.

One of the residents said the latest incident was on Tuesday afternoon when her husband almost stepped on a puff adder in their backyard.

According to Esmeralda Cidras, her husband almost picked up the snake, thinking that it was a hosepipe.

“Last week we found another one at the gate, heading towards the house. This is very traumatising because we can no longer stay with our doors and windows open. My neighbour found one in their garage,” added Cidras.

Another resident found a snake in her bathroom.

She said that she is now living in fear because she does not know whether there are any other snakes in her house.

“I am even afraid to search or clean the house out of fear that the rest of its family will crawl out from somewhere.”

She added that it does not help to call a snake catcher because they are expected to point out exactly where the snake is.

A local snake handler, Davie Griesel, said they do get calls regarding venomous snakes in households but it is a difficult and dangerous situation when no one knows where the snake is.

Griesel said they rescue snakes in Kimberley and surrounding areas.

He highlighted that it is time-consuming and dangerous to search for a snake, especially in the dark.

“The problem is that we provide the services for free unless the caller volunteers to give us a donation for transport. We are also expected to pay for our own medical costs when we get bitten by deadly snakes,” said Griesel.

He urged residents to always keep a “safe distance” from a snake.

“They move fast, especially when there is movement around, and bite just as fast.

“If you are close enough to kill a snake, the snake is close enough to bite you.”

He said they do not kill the snakes but release them according to nature conservation guidelines.

Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson Thoko Riet promised that they would send out a team to assess the situation

“Unfortunately, we cannot do anything regarding the breeding of the snakes but we can see how best we can assist with cleaning that area,” said Riet.

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