Tree feller’s find may be highly poisonous snake

2010-02-17 00:00

A TREE-FELLER in Hilton came across a tiny snake — believed to be a Bibron’s Stiletto — while doing his job yesterday afternoon.

Ryan Richmond says he was cutting down trees on Old Howick Road when he came across the snake hiding under a pile of tiles in the yard of a client.

Richmond said that in his line of duty he has caught a number of snakes, but this is the first time that he has seen a Stiletto.

“I was moving a pile of tiles when I found it coiled up on one of them.

“I caught it and informed one of the local snake handlers, who then suggested I inform Ushaka Marine as they keep certain species of snakes. I’m now waiting for them to come and collect it if they are interested,” he said.

Local snake handler Mark Ensil said he can comment only after he has seen the snake and confirms that it is a Bibron’s Stiletto.

“Those are quite little snakes and they are poisonous.

“Their fangs are very fine and have very little movement, and as a result they have an unusual way of striking their target,” said Ensil.

A Ladysmith pet shop owner who asked not to be named as he does not have all the facts, said that if the snake is a Bibron’s Stiletto , then it is poisonous.

He said these snakes live underground and usually come out after rain.

“Some time last year a 14-year-old girl spent five days in hospital after she was bitten by a Bibron’s Stiletto.

“An adult who knows snakes very well and was with her at the time was bitten on the middle finger.

“The top part of the man’s finger had to be cut off because of the venom,” said the pet shop owner.

He said that if the snake bite was not attended to quickly the venom would affect the nerves and the area of flesh around the bite would start to rot.

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