Three highly venomous snakes caught in east

A puff adder found. Photo: Supplied.

Three dangerous snakes have been sighted in three weeks in the east of Pretoria.

Snake handler Barry Greenshields said a puff adder was spotted in Wapadrand two weeks ago.

“I did not believe the phone call as the snake was found in the middle of an office park.”

He said a puff adder usually disguised itself.

Greenshields said the snake was about 1.2m long.

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“It was very fat. I thought the snake was pregnant.”

According to him, puff adders can be recognised by their short and stocky build.

“They weigh up to 6kg.

“They also have a diamond shaped head and a chevron pattern on its skin.

“Puff adders usually camouflage themselves to hide from hunters.

“They pick a spot where they can usually hide for up to eight weeks. They wait for food to pass them.”

He said puff adders should be avoided at all cost because they accounted for the second highest number of bites in South Africa and were very venomous.

“The poison attacks a person’s skin cells. It starts to blister and then spreads all the way to the bone.”

Greenshields said this was the start of mating season for puff adders and that meant they might be spotted on a more regular basis.

He said a week a go, a 1.4m highly venomous snouted cobra was found in Lombardy Estate.

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“They are relatively calm and not aggressive unless they feel threatened. They will stand their ground if they are annoyed.”

He said that they could reach a length of 2.5m and up to 2kg.

Another snouted cobra, measuring 1.85m, was found in Silverlakes on Monday .

“It is now very late in the snake season. They are busy stocking up on their last meals before winter time.”

He said these snakes did not really hibernate in the winter because it was not too cold for them but would be seen less.

Greenshields advised people to always keep a safe distance, about 4m, away from any snake.

“Keep an eye on them to track their movement, so that it is easy for the handler to find them upon arrival.”

He said that one should seek immediate medical attention when bitten by a snake.

The three snakes were taken to a place of safety.

Greenshields said he released them back into the wild as far as possible from the city, to protect humans as well as the snakes.

Barry Greenshields can be contacted on 074-269-3023 in case of a snake sighting.

Barry Greenshields taking a photo of a cobra. Photo: Supplied.

Barry Greenshields with a rock monitor he recently saved from a car engine in Lynnwood. Photo: Supplied.

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Mari Rheeder
Online Editor

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