Who let the snakes out?

2015-09-22 06:00
A Cape Cobra is handled by Shaun MacLeod, coordinator of the Snake Rescue volunteer team in the Cape Peninsula.

A Cape Cobra is handled by Shaun MacLeod, coordinator of the Snake Rescue volunteer team in the Cape Peninsula.

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Residents are more likely to experience snake encounters due to spring-time, warns Shaun MacLeod, co-ordinator of the Snake Rescue volunteer team in the Cape Peninsula.

“Every spring snakes come out of hibernation on the hunt for a much needed spring meal. Snakes are very important to our natural environment as they control the vermin rodents that destroy crops and carry numerous diseases,” says MacLeod, who is also a director of Reptile Educational Awareness Consultants (REAC).

“Snakes and various other reptiles form part of the very important balance in our ecosystem. A simple equation – the more snakes we kill, the more rodents and pests there will be.

“We have encroached into their natural habitat through habitat degradation, fragmentation and urban expansion.

“Ponds, heaps of building rubble and rockeries in and around gardens and homes create micro environments, which will inevitably attract snakes,” MacLeod warns.

He reminds residents that snakes “are attracted to neglected areas where there is not much disturbance, as snakes hate confrontation”.

“There is no real way of keeping snakes off your property, but if you keep your grass cut short, trees well trimmed and clean up all rubble, just to mention a few, then there is less likelihood for snakes to reside on your property. In short – keep your garden tidy,” he says.

“Leave snakes alone – and it will leave you alone. Most bites occur when people attempt to kill snakes,” he says.V

If a snake is encountered, contact MacLeod on 082 532 5033 for advice or for emergencies pertaining snakes.

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