Snakes alive: Anaconda surprise for firefighters at Verulam factory

2012-05-22 00:00

IT was all in a day’s work for paramedics who arrived at a factory fire at Verulam near Durban yesterday to treat 14 people for smoke inhalation, and then found themselves checking the condition of two anacondas that were trapped in the blaze.

Netcare 911, provincial paramedics and the fire services arrived to find the factory engulfed in flames.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said a fireman noticed that two anacondas were trapped in a cage at the entrance to the factory. His quick thinking saved their lives: “In the cage was a plastic container that the snakes had taken cover in. He filled this with fresh water, keeping them protected from the heat.”

Botha said that once the fire was extinguished he helped the owner to remove the snakes. He noted that their airways were covered with the black residue from the smoke. He advised the owner to take them to a local vet for further treatment.

It is not known why the anacondas, non-venemous snakes native to South America, are being kept in the factory.

Botha also keeps snakes and joked that everyone else had been too scared to examine the anacondas.

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