Community shows mercy for African rock python

2014-03-27 00:00

A LARGE African rock python has been safely captured and released after the community it ventured into called their local councillor for help.

“I’m grateful to the community for not killing this beautiful endangered African rock python,” said ‘Pottie’ Potgieter, an honorary Parks Board official from Ladysmith, after capturing the almost three-metre-long Python yesterday.

Potgieter was called to the Qinisa area, Ezakheni, yesterday morning, after community members had spotted the large reptile.

“The community called me and told me that the snake was in the mielie field and trying to eat a chicken,” said councillor Bongani Mkhize, who had immediately contacted Potgieter and his crew of men.

The group of snake-catchers quickly made their way to the rural community, but on arrival was told that the snake had left its meal and disappeared into the dense bush.

Even after searching for some time, the snake could not be found.

The search was then called off and the men decided to leave. But soon after, they were called back to the same area.

“We went back and found the snake, hiding away in a hole,” said one of the community members.

It took Potgieter just a few minutes to safely capture the snake.

“The community of this area should be complemented for not killing the snake and for calling the right people to help,” said Mkhize.

According to the councillor, articles that have been appearing in local newspapers have allowed snakes to live.

“Our communities are being informed about the snakes and that they are endangered and communities have stopped the killing of snakes,” said Mkhize.

The snake that was caught — reportedly a female — was later released in a safer environment.

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