Be on the lookout for
snakes on your outings during the spring and summer. The warm temperatures and
longer daylight hours that stimulate people to get out and enjoy nature also
trigger the same response in snakes.
Snakes lead the list of most misunderstood and feared of all animals. There are
27 naturally occurring species found between the Paarl mountain rangers to Cape
Point. Only 3 can cause unfortunate human medical priorities if intentionally
Many harmless snakes
meet untimely deaths at the hands of shovel-wielding humans. Even if you do not
go out in search of snakes, you may encounter them on your spring and summer
adventures. If you encounter a snake, move away and give the creature room to
escape. They deserve your healthy respect-for your safety as well as theirs.
Remember, any warnings
from a snake are meant to help avoid conflict. A snake will never attack a
human but will defend itself if given no other alternative.
Every spring snakes come
out of hibernation on the hunt for a much needed spring meal. Snakes are an important
part of the natural food chain, eating a great variety of prey, from rats and
birds to frogs and other reptiles.
Snakes form part of the
very important balance in our ecosystem controlling vermin rodents, who destroy
our crops and who carry numerous diseases. A simple equation, the more snakes
we kill, the more rodents and pests there are.
We have encroached into their natural habitat, through habitat degradation,
fragmentation and urban expansion.
Our ponds, heaps of building rubble and rockeries in and around our garden and
homes create micro-environments, which will inevitably attract snakes.
Remember snakes are attracted to neglected areas where there is not much
disturbance, as snakes avoid confrontation. There is no real way of keeping
snakes off your property, but if you keep your grass cuts short, trees
well-trimmed and clean up all your building rubble, just to mention a few, then
there is less likelihood for snakes to reside on your property. In short keep
your garden tidy.
Shaun MacLeod 082-532
W/Cape Snake Rescue coordinator
Director of REAC (Reptile Educational Awareness Consultants)
If a snake is
encountered contact Shaun 082 532 5033,
advice or for emergencies pertaining to snake encounters.