Some snakes from KwaZulu-Natal, SOUTH AFRICA

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Some snakes from KwaZulu-Natal, SOUTH AFRICA

Postby Nick Evans » Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:09 pm

Hi all

It's been a busy few weeks here in KwaZulu-Natal in terms of call-outs. I remove snakes from areas surrounding the city of Durban. It's been unusually warm of late here, so the snakes have been cruising!

Snakes here, like in most of the world, are feared and hated. There are many beliefs in the Zulu tradition about snakes, which increases the fear. So many people just want to kill them! I'm doing my best to create an awareness about snakes here, and educate people so that they do not kill them. I started up a little initiative, which I'll post a link to at the bottom of the post. It focuses on other reptiles too, as well as amphibians.

I've been fortunate enough to have been called for some awesome animals. Below are some photos. *All animals are released into the nearest nature reserve.

I'll start off with a very special and beautiful snake...
Spotted Rock Snake (Lamprophis guttatus). One of South Africa's most beautiful snakes!

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Spotted Bush Snake (Philothamnus semivariegatus). An extremely common and harmless snake, which often gets killed as people confuse it for a Green Mamba.

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Southern Brown Egg-eater (Dasypeltis inornata)

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Brown House Snake (Boaedon capensis). This snake does an excellent job in keeping rodent populations down!

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Herald Snake (Crotaphopeltis hotamboiea)

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Common Centipede-eater (Apparallactus capensis)

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Rhombic Night Adder (Causus rhombeatus)

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Mozambique Spitting Cobra (Naja mossambica). A bad tempered snake...

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Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis). My absolute favourite snake! Had some awesome encounters with them. Their reputation is just over exaggerated and unfair. They're just shy and nervous, and always want to escape.

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Here's one I removed from a shack in an area called Chatsworth. The snake had been living in the roof of the shack for ages with the people! They were desperate for someone to remove it. The kids were excited to be able to touch it!

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Here's another that was lying next to a pool...

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Hoping for a busy winter!

'To follow what I do, like my page 'KwaZulu-Natal Amphibian and Reptile Conservation' on Facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/KZNHerpConserv ... =bookmarks
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Re: Some snakes from KwaZulu-Natal, SOUTH AFRICA

Postby Neil Rowntree » Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:24 pm

That Philothamnus semivariegatus looks delightful.
And speaking of bush snakes, nice t-shirt...
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Re: Some snakes from KwaZulu-Natal, SOUTH AFRICA

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:21 pm

Beautiful! I need to go there some day...
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Re: Some snakes from KwaZulu-Natal, SOUTH AFRICA

Postby Bert Vandebosch » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:34 pm

Very nice!!!

About the Philothamnus semivariegatus: Are those young animals? Do they, lose their markings and turn completely green with aging? I hope not, because they look amazing like this.
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Re: Some snakes from KwaZulu-Natal, SOUTH AFRICA

Postby Andre Schmid » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:31 pm

Very nice snakes and photos, thanks for sharing ! Keep the good work up :)
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Re: Some snakes from KwaZulu-Natal, SOUTH AFRICA

Postby Bobby Bok » Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:07 pm

Oh my, living there must be heaven :D Fantastic snakes again and a pity you can't join us to Malawi this year, would have loved to learn from your African snake searching experience!
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Re: Some snakes from KwaZulu-Natal, SOUTH AFRICA

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Tue Jun 02, 2015 11:42 pm

Once again, from all my heart, you young and (most obviously) able man, puh-leez, do
take care and beware. Those are mambas, after all... Would be a real pity to loose you.
Of course, send us more of that, as it comes along...
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Re: Some snakes from KwaZulu-Natal, SOUTH AFRICA

Postby Guillaume Gomard » Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:04 am

Very nice species :!: I would love to see also some habitat shots.

Nick Evans wrote:Hi all
Their reputation is just over exaggerated and unfair. They're just shy and nervous, and always want to escape.


Interesting to read those lines about wild mambas. I had similar feedbacks from different people keeping this species in their collection, i.e an actual behaviour not matching to their bad reputation, but for sure a smart and nervous snake.
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Re: Some snakes from KwaZulu-Natal, SOUTH AFRICA

Postby Berislav Horvatic » Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:13 pm

Their reputation is just over exaggerated and unfair. They're just shy and nervous, and always want to escape.

Mostly, on the average... But my concern was obviously about you, not them, and it's sincere. Making a single
mistake with them can cost one life, so very much more probably than with some other critters. That's all.

I know quite serious and very experienced terrarists who just say "Any vipers, yes, elapids, no, thank you...
not me, not in my house..." They are no cowards, just... they wouldn't like to tackle that "stuff", and they
have reasons... rational reasons. I wouldn't question them (the reasons), as it's their skin at stake, so I just
guess they know what they're talking about.

BTW, if it comes to the worse, that is, if you get bitten by a black mamba, do you have a realistic rescue plan?
How far is the nearest hospital? Who takes you there? Do they have the appropriate antivenin & c. there?
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Re: Some snakes from KwaZulu-Natal, SOUTH AFRICA

Postby Nick Evans » Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:31 pm

Thanks all for the kind comments!

Berislav, I really do appreciate the concern :) I try to be very careful! I know one quick lapse of concentration can mean trouble! I try to remain 100% focused!

My realistic rescue plan= Get driven straight to a hospital called St.Augustines. On the way, phone my friend who is a doctor with a special interest in snakebite. There are quite a few hospitals around, but I think that's the best one for snakebite. I believe mamba anti- venom is available too!

Like I said, I appreciate any concern and reasonable feedback :mrgreen:
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