Monty the python leaves her ambulance

2015-06-05 08:19
"Monty" the African python. (Chris van den Bergh, Supplied)

"Monty" the African python. (Chris van den Bergh, Supplied)

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Phalaborwa - Monty the python has finally left the ambulance she had slithered into for a nap near the Kruger National Park on Thursday, snake expert Zian van den Bergh said on Friday.

''We were waiting in the bush and at about 22:00 I suddenly heard a 'pop' sound in the dark. We had left the window open for her and I almost walked on the snake when I went to have a look,'' he said.

''By the time she got out, she was too tired to put up a fight,'' said Van den Bergh, from the Phalaborwa Herpetological Society.

The huge African python with the girth of a taxi tyre was named Monty by the Maponya911 Ambulance Services, while they waited from 07:00 on Thursday for her to leave the ambulance.

A woman walking her dogs had spotted her near the fence of a local airstrip about 1km from the Kruger National Park, and contacted emergency services.

Maponya911 paramedic Jaco Gericke, of Phalaborwa, told News24 on Thursday: "It turned around and tried to bite me in the buttocks and then it went under the ambulance.''

Van den Bergh said: ''She has a little bit of a skin injury. She hurt herself on the manifold when she got into the ambulance, and when she got out she scratched her scales on something.''

Vet appointment

She has a vet's appointment for 08:00 and will be observed for a while.

''I think she will be rested by then...I will just have to hold her tight,'' said 26-year-old Van den Bergh, who is the chairperson of the Herpetological society.

He was holding her in a box.

In a few weeks, she will be released into a local reserve. Wild snakes don't eat easily in captivity, but he believes she will eventually warm to a little frozen chicken while she heals.

Van den Bergh said he and other members of the snake society have valid permits to relocate and transport snakes in the area.

''They play a valuable role in the environment. They keep the rodent population down and do pest control.

''If we find such a rare and beautiful specimen, which has grown to this size, we try and do everything to protect it. She is a very big female so she is part of the breeding population.''


Zian van den Bergh with an exhausted "Monty" the African python. (Chris van den Berg, Supplied)

Read more on:    mbombela  |  good news  |  animals

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