Monday, 16 December 2013

Behold the beauty of the Boomslang (Tree Snake)

As stated in an earlier posting, Yzerfontein has lots of snakes.
On an early walk yesterday I noticed one of my neighbours having some very nice trees trimmed down to skeletons.  She told me that particular thicket was home to a monster of a boomslang.
Well.... it was her trees so I refrained from commenting.

Later in the afternoon, returning from a scenic drive with visiting family, my wife Monica spotted a huge snake crossing the driveway two houses down the road.  For some obscure reason she shrieked.
I must admit, this was a very impressive boomslang - by far the biggest I've ever seen.

I jumped out and gingerly herded the monster towards a secluded shrub, where it obligingly took refuge.  I phoned Johan, Yzerfontein's local Snake Whisperer, while circling the bush to discourage the snake from bolting.

The good man pitched up within five minutes, armed with the tools of his trade.

The snake didn't make things easy for Johan.

"I know you're in there somewhere......"

After a while he managed to extricate it unharmed.  The boomslang is one of the most beautiful snakes, displaying colours varying from bright orange through olive green to black.

The snake was released in the nearby National Park where it will undoubtedly find a new thicket to call home.

The boomslang is, as a rule, not an aggressive snake and will only bite when provoked.  The venom is highly potent but slow working.  It takes several hours after a bite before any symptoms set in, so there is plenty of time to get to a hospital.  Don't let the lack of symptoms fool you into thinking the bite was not serious - if left untreated you will be dead in one to three days.

Several years ago the famous herpetologist Karl Schmidt died following the bite of a boomslang.

I love Yzer!

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