Our Snakes

Puff Adder

Puff Adder

A large, slow-moving viper, they are responsible for a significant number of snake-bites accidents in Africa. It is not aggressive, but relies heavily on its camouflage, so it is easily overlooked by humans and can inadvertently be trodden upon. It strikes quickly, and its long fangs penetrate deeply. Its potent venom is produced in huge quantities. Although this snake kills many people in rural areas, death is usually preventable if suitable medical treatment is available.

 

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Gaboon Adder

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This is a much feared snake, although bites are rare. It lurks among dead leaves in dappled light, its outline disguised by the geometric pattern of rectangles and triangles along its body. It hardly moves, preferring to wait for its pray to come withing range, then it strikes with great speed, injecting venom with fangs that can be up to 4cm long. They are found in West and Central Africa. Mostly St Lucia in Kwazulu Natal.

 

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Boomslang

The Boomslang hunts chameleons, birds, and other small animals during the day, using camouflage and stealthy approach to get within striking distance and then snatching its prey in a sudden rush. It kills with venom delivered through fangs that are situated below the eyes and is one of the few colubrids that can kill humans, although it only bites when cornered. They are found in South Africa.

 

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Burmese Python

Commonly found near villages, and even cities, the Burmese Python performs a useful function by eating rats and other vermin. Unfortunately, it is not always welcome because it also takes chickens and other domestic animals. All pythons coil around the eggs, but the Burmese Python is able to raise its body temperature by a process that in not yet fully understood.

 

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Black Mamba

Black Mamba

One of the most venomous snakes in Africa with a powerful quick acting neurotoxin, the black mamba has a reputation that no other snake can match. Although extremely dangerous the Black Mamba is, in fact, a nervous and shy snake.

 

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Black necked spitting cobra

Spitting cobra’s poses a cytotoxic and neurotoxic venom there ability to “spit” venom comes from modified fangs.This spitting is a form of self defense and does not help in catching prey, spitting cobra’s are able to spit there venom up to 2m accurately. If the venom comes into contact with your eyes the venom molecules bind to the corneal protein and cause immediate pain and swelling. The eyes should be flushed with water immediately.

 

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Reticulated Python

Thought to be the world’s longest snake, the Reticulated Python is an inhabitant of the steamy tropical rain-forest of South-east Asia. it leads a secretive life, well camouflaged among forest vegetation. Occasionally it strays into villages and the outskirts of large towns, probably attracted by potential prey in the form of rats and domestic animals. it is one of the only handful of snakes they are known to have eaten humans, although cases are exceptionally rare.

 

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Carpet Python

This slender, graceful python occurs in many color forms throughout its wide geographic range in Australia and New Guinea. It occupies a number of different types of habitat and is usually nocturnal but, depending on the climate, it can also be diurnal. The Carpet Python is often found around human habitations, where it does a useful job eating rats and other vermin.

 

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African Rock Python

They are most active at night, though very fond of basing – especially after a large meal. It ambushers its prey, latches on with its powerful re-curved teeth and constricts it. Pythons are extremely valuable as they control rodent populations, especially rock hyrax (dassies) and cane rats. Pythons have been known to kill people in the past but today large individuals are very rare. Because of the python’s size and the fact that it has numerous strong re-curved teeth, a bite may cause a fair amount of tissue damage and the victim may even need stitches.

 

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Boa Constrictor

They are probably amongst the most widely known snake species, the boa constrictor, as it is popularly known, is a magnificent predator from the jungle of Central and south America that has adapted itself to a wide range of different habitats and lifestyles. It has few enemies once it reaches its adult length of 3 meters or more. Although the Boa is usually found in rain-forests, it also occurs in drier environments in Mexico and on the grasslands of northern Argentina. It lives in trees or on the ground, but becomes increasingly terrestrial as it gets larger.

 

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Snouted Cobra

They are one of Africa’s largest cobras, it often occupies a permanent home in a termite mound where it will reside for years in not disturbed. It is active at night, foraging for food from dusk onwards, often venturing into poultry runs. It is not an aggressive snake but will assume a formidable posture in cornered. They have a neurotoxic venom that affects breathing and in untreated cases may cause respiratory failure and death.

 

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Forest Cobra

This is a large cobra normally associated with closed canopy coastal forest in northern Kwazulu-Natal (RSA). It is active and alert, climbs well and is equally at home on land and in water. Though primarily active at night, it likes to bask in the sun and forages for food on overcast days. They are potently neurotoxic but because of this snake’s restricted distribution and shy nature, bites are virtually unheard of in South Africa.

 

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