A ssslithery problem

2014-08-13 00:00

A LOCAL animal farm in Assegay is in hot water after six snakes in their care were allegedly found dead and others in a bad condition.

The Kloof and Highway SPCA followed up a complaint about the welfare of the animals at the Duck ’n Deck and the inspector was not happy with the find.

Inspectorate manager Cherry Cooke said when she and Inspector Vacy Lyle arrived on the premises, they found the snakes were kept in unacceptable conditions. “Those containers were too small; I do not believe Duck ’n Deck is the best facility to care for them,” said Cooke. Two indegenous snakes allegedly did not have the required permits.

They removed all the snakes from the premises. “All the live snakes are anaemic and severely dehydrated; one has a broken back and another is infected with parasites,” she added.

Herpetologist Dr Angelo Lambiris examined the reptiles, which included a Rhombic Night Adder and Copperhead Moccasin. “The one snake had to be euthanased because of a spinal injury,” said Lambiris.

Other confiscated snakes included two African Rock Pythons and a yellow Anaconda.

Duck ’n Deck owner Geoffery Evennett said in the 13 years they had operated the facility, more than 300 000 people had visited the animal farm.

“The SPCA do a wonderful job and every time they found an issue with the condition of the animals, we have tried our best to sort out the situation. But this is not right,” said Evennett.

He said a few months back, a part-time worker approached them with a new venture, Creatures and Critters, where they could showcase a variety of snakes.

“We had no idea there was a problem with the snakes. We did regular checks on them and they were fed and given water,” said Evennett.

“The SPCA has not even contacted us; we have just seen the Facebook post and there are tons of cancellations. Business is being hit hard,” added Evennett.

“Snakes should not be confined to small areas; this is an international problem and it’s unacceptable,” said Cooke. The snakes are now in the care of the SPCA and their condition is slowly improving, she said.

They will consider pressing charges only after a full assessment of the animals has been completed.

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