’Tis a sea­son for sssss­nakes

THE FOL­LOW­ING TYP­I­CALLY FOUND IN SA HOUSE­HOLDS Learn about SA’s ser­pents, colours, be­hav­iour and lev­els of dan­ger to you.

The Citizen (KZN) - - NEWS - Non-ven­omous snakes Ven­omous snakes

From Novem­ber to April, most no­tably af­ter the first rains, cer­tain ar­eas ex­pe­ri­ence snake sea­son. This is ac­cord­ing to ac­cred­ited des­ti­na­tion man­age­ment com­pany Siyabonga Africa, and snake ex­pert Jason Arnold.

This week, Arnold re­ceived a call-out for a 2.2m black mamba at a home in Dur­ban’s north­ern sub­urb of Avoca. This was one of five he res­cued in the past week.

Fol­low­ing an in­flux of snake-re­lated in­ci­dents, The Cit­i­zen has compiled a list of snakes typ­i­cally found in a house­hold.

The most com­mon snake found in homes is the brown house snake, which is found through­out south­ern Africa. It is uni­form red­brown, with larger, older snakes be­com­ing sig­nif­i­cantly darker.

The African rock python is Africa’s largest snake. It has a large spear­head mark on the crown of the head, with dark and light bands ra­di­at­ing from eye to lip. It is found in the Lowveld, KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, Lim­popo and the North­ern Cape.

Large, ro­bust with a non-flat­tened nose and long tail, the olive grass snake oc­curs in the north­ern parts, ex­tend­ing south along the KwaZulu-Natal coast. Al­though not ven­omous, a bite

Hae­mo­toxic venom de­stroys red blood cells, dis­rupts blood clot­ting, and cause or­gan de­gen­er­a­tion and tis­sue dam­age. Hu­man symp­toms to haemo­tox­ins in­clude nau­sea and dis­ori­en­ta­tion.

Neu­ro­toxic venom de­stroys nerve tis­sue and af­fects the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem. Symp­toms in­clude droop­ing eye­lids, slurred speech and ex­ces­sive sali­va­tion.

Cy­to­toxic venom de­stroy cell mem­brane, which re­sults in tis­sue necro­sis. Im­me­di­ate swelling and tis­sue necro­sis will be­gin at the site of the bite.

Car­diotoxic venom cause cel­lu­lar in­jury, caus­ing lo­cal tis­sue or mus­cle in­jury. may cause pain and nau­sea.

A large snake, with large, round pupils, the boom­slang may be leaf-green, bright green with dark grey, black-edged belly scales, or brick-red to rusk-red, with an or­ange-pink belly. They are found along the east and south coast to Cape Town. The black mamba, de­spite its name, only has a black mouth lin­ing. The rest of the body is gun­metal to olive-brown. Their venom is neu­ro­toxic and car­diotoxic.

Found through­out SA, the puff ad­der’s head is flat­tened and tri­an­gu­lar, and its venom is cy­to­toxic. It is re­spon­si­ble for the most bites and fa­tal­i­ties in Africa. – Cit­i­zen re­porter

Pic­ture: i Stock

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