Monday, October 9, 2017

Spring Time is Snake Time

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 handled.

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 5033
W/Cape Snake Rescue coordinator  
Director of REAC (Reptile Educational Awareness Consultants)

If a snake is encountered contact Shaun 082 532 5033,

 24/7 for advice or for emergencies pertaining to snake encounters.