Snake owner sentenced

2018-06-06 06:00
A boa constrictor. PHOTO: sourced

A boa constrictor. PHOTO: sourced

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A MAN who was caught in possession of a boa constrictor paid a R50 000, recently. He was ordered by the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court to either pay the fine or serve six months behind bars.

The man was caught in possession of the snake, which has no natural predator in South Africa,in June 2017 after a routine inspection from the Department of Environmental Affairs to a local pet shop in Raisethorpe.

Upon the visit the inspector found that the man was in possession of the boa, which is classified as an alien invasive species in South Africa, and that the owner was not licensed to have the boa in the pet shop. According to Invasive Species South Africa, the snake feeds on birds, mammals and other snakes and therefore established populations of these snakes could potentially impact the local populations of some vertebrate species.They are also known to host potential parasites and diseases of economic and human health significance. Spokesperson for Mountain Rise Police Station Captain Gay Ebrahim confirmed that the matter was investigated by the stock theft unit, resulting in a positive outcome for the station.

Station Commander Brigadier Boxer Pillay hailed the investigating officer for his efforts with the Department of Environmental Affairs.

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