Local snake catcher undeterred after snake bite

2017-03-24 14:32
TOP RIGHT: Zane Barnard’s arm swelled up after a night adder bit his thumb.  BOTTOM RIGHT: The small bite on Barnard’s thumb landed him in hospital for two days.

TOP RIGHT: Zane Barnard’s arm swelled up after a night adder bit his thumb. BOTTOM RIGHT: The small bite on Barnard’s thumb landed him in hospital for two days. (supplied)

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

For the first time in 40 years, local snake catcher Zane Barnard has been bitten by a snake, and has landed in hospital for two days.

Barnard was helping remove a snake from a property in Pelham on Wednesday morning when a night adder took a bite at his left thumb.

“I received a call from a woman to come and help her get a snake out of her simplex on Topham Road at about 9 am on Wednesday.

“I did not have my full working kit but I had an improvised kit that I could work with. As I was lifting it out to release it the snake bit a small part of my thumb,” said Barnard.

The small bite soon led to Barnard’s whole arm swelling up and he spent the past two days in hospital. Barnard said serious pain from the bite only started to subside at about 2.15 am yesterday morning when it became a “dull numbing pain”.

“Night adders were previously considered harmless but now they have actually become increasingly dangerous although not exactly life threatening,” said Barnard.

Barnard said the bite, which was the first he has had in about 40 years, has not deterred his passion for snakes.

“After the bite I cursed out in pain but I still rescued the snake and released it in the Bisley nature reserve area. The woman I was assisting asked me why I didn’t just kill it, but that is not why I do what I do.

“I’m still very passionate about snakes and conserving them. Even though they are sometimes regarded as bad, they still serve their own purpose in nature,” said Barnard.

“The first time I was bitten by a snake was when I was 15 years old. And then I still didn’t learn my lesson and it happened again when I was 16.

“However, since then I have always exercised great caution when handling snakes, it only a pity this time that I did not have my full rescue kit,” said Barnard.

He said he should be released from hospital by this afternoon. “I’m fine, only in a lot of pain and I have swelling,” said Barnard.

Another snake expert, Mark Enslin, said it was important to always be cautious when catching snakes.

“Catching snakes is like riding a bicycle. You have to fall a couple of times before you are able to ride it properly. We have also been bitten by snakes numerous times, but we still need to be careful every time,” said Enslin.

He said Barnard was lucky a night adder’s bite was not “too dangerous”.

Enslin encouraged people to always call the police or an expert when they need to remove a snake from their yard and said it was very important to remain calm once you were bitten.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
Travel Dreams? Where would you rather be right now?

Partnered: Whether you're missing family overseas, dreaming of family adventures or romantic hideaways we all have that one place we'd rather be right now - but have you thought about the best way to get there?

/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
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.