WATCH: Why are there so many pythons in Harare?

2018-03-16 10:21
Via Reptile Rescue Facebook page

Via Reptile Rescue Facebook page

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

Harare - Snake expert Ben Vermeulen of Harare-based Reptile Rescue says he has been called in to remove nine pythons since January, and that python sightings are now much more frequent.

Watch below, a short video clip of a python that was caught by Reptile Rescue being released in Harare 

"What we're finding is that a lot of the snake species are migrating into Harare because of the explosion in the rat population, and the Gambian (pouched) rats that we have," Vermeulen told News24. No-one seems to know how Gambian rats ended up in Harare: they're not indigenous to Zimbabwe. Local rats are also proliferating.

In one dramatic picture shared recently, a large python was seen sunning itself on top of a garden wall in Harare's leafy Mount Pleasant suburb.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news from around the continent by subscribing to our FREE newsletter, Hello Africa.

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook. 

Said Vermeulen: "In the last two-and-a-half to three years I've caught more pythons in Harare than I have in the previous 10 years." He said he'd caught between 180-200 pythons in Harare in the last two-and-a-half to three years alone.

Python
10ft Python that was on The Chase in Mount Pleasant. (Reptile Rescue)

Pythons are a protected species in Zimbabwe: killing them can attract a mandatory nine-year jail term. So residents are told not to take things into their own hands.

Vermeulen releases all of his captured pythons in uninhabited areas close to water.

Snakes under control

He said the proliferation of snakes in Harare should not create unnecessary alarm. Most people will only ever see 5% of the city's snakes.

"It's only when snakes have been disturbed or are on the move during the day that people see them. The snake population is controllable," he said.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  conservation

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

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
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.