Tuesday, June 3, 2008

There is a snake in the grass.......or in the house.....

Coming back from the morning drive , and was it cold that morning. Still warming up with a nice cup of Nescafe coffee I heard frantic screaming coming from the managers house........... It sounded like someone are being attacked by a lion. I ran over there and what did I find...................a brown house snake harmless as can be. But for the lady cleaning the house it was like dooms day. I had to stop her fairly quickly other wise the poor snake almost got a broom up the nostril. This is were eduction comes in. People tend to think that the only good snake is a dead snake and that is such a wrong approach. I must say the staff at our lodge never thought twice before killing a snake if they saw one. One afternoon I caught a Mozambican spitting cobra in the fire place at the lodge. All the staff watched how I caught it. They actually realised that snakes are not demons. I had a talk with them about snakes, the friendly ones and all the nastys. So now they always call someone if there is a snake. They all realise now that snakes form a crucial part of the ecosystem and that they play a major role in keeping rodent numbers down.

We must just come to the conclusion that we share their environment and that we are going to bump into them sooner or later. But just leave them a lone and they will ignore you as well. I am asking everybody that reads this blog protect our snakes and if you encounter one in your house or any where that it is a threat to you do not just kill it get some one to remove it safely. It is like Gerry said who's decision is it to make if the creature lives or die, does he have a say in the matter.....................................?

The brown house snake is probably this most common constrictor we will encounter around buildings. They mostly feed on rodents and small vertebrates including bats at night. Their pupils are vertical because they are nocturnal hunters. They have got no venom they are constrictors.

They lay up to 16 eggs in summer and the hatchlings measures from 190-250mm.Their range are through out southern Africa and most of the continent.
More on these guys and other snakes later.


Sandpiper said...

Great pictures and post.I have a friend in South Africa who has a lot of staff and they have finally learned, "No, you don't kill the snakes and mice." Now they know to call on her to remove the little critters to safety so they can continue their work. They get absolutely freaked out. :)

Grant Marcus said...

Hi Sandpiper
Thanx for the comments yes we have got to try and make there lives a bit easier.......