Puff Adder bites as last resort - Prof

2012-10-05 13:31
Puff Adder snakes are only likely to bite as a last resort, a professor has found. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Puff Adder snakes are only likely to bite as a last resort, a professor has found. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The notorious Puff Adder may be more puff than bite if a scientist is to be believed.

According to Wits University professor Graham Alexander in the Cape Times newspaper, the reptiles have got a bad rap in Africa for biting anything that steps on it.

But he believes many people have trodden on a Puff Adder while walking in the bush and never even noticed, because they were not bitten.

He put this theory to the test in a game reserve just north of Pretoria and fitted a radio transmitter to a snake before letting it loose in the bush. He attached a gumboot to the end of a broomstick, and went looking for the snake to test its patience.

"I first placed the boot five centimetres from its nose and recorded what the snake did. I then dumped the boot on its back," he said.

He waited five seconds for a response and the snake "usually" just lay in the same spot. Alexander said after numerous attempts he got one snake to strike. However, this one was moving when provoked and the scientist believed it was a mock strike.

He said snakes bit as a last resort.

The Puff Adder is responsible for many bites in SA, releasing cytotoxic venom that destroys tissue.

Read more on:    reptiles
NEXT ON NEWS24X

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
26 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/Africa
 

Autobraking: See just how good they are!

Just how good are automatic brakes on cars these days? Two VW models have been praised by top UK research centre Thatcham. Find out why...

 

Stay safe

Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Mom's driving-school dream come true
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may need to re-look at the fine print. Things are not what they seem. Trust your intuition and look into things a bit deeper...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.