Slithery situation: Man frantically drives through load shedding after finding a snake in his car

2020-02-10 15:36
Justin Naidoo with his vehicle, pointing to where he last saw the snakes before they vanished, and one reappeared on his dashboard.

Justin Naidoo with his vehicle, pointing to where he last saw the snakes before they vanished, and one reappeared on his dashboard. (Makaziwe Khumalo, The Witness)

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“I couldn't believe my eyes,” Justin Naidoo said on Sunday when describing his unnerving experience of finding a snake staring at him through the air vent of his car as he frantically drove through load shedding to find a bright place to deal with his dilemma.

Earlier the snake — and its mate — had fallen from a tree onto the roof of his car and subsequently disappeared, apparently under the bonnet.

Naidoo, who lives in Durban but works in Pietermaritzburg, told The Witness he was parked under a tree in Townhill around midnight on February 1, when he heard a bang on his car roof.

He said he was startled by the sudden noise, but what really agitated him was the loud movement that continued on the roof. But before he could get out to investigate, two entangled snakes came into view slithering down his windscreen and landing on his windshield wipers.

Naidoo said he was terrified, but remembered the golden rule: “Do not take your eyes off a snake when you spot it. Contact a snake catcher immediately.”

But in his frantic state Naidoo did lose sight of the snakes.

“I started my car because I wanted to drive to a place with more light. There was load shedding, so it was dark everywhere. That’s when I saw a snake’s head peeping through my vehicle’s air vents. I couldn’t believe my eyes!” said Naidoo.

A brown southern egg eater, the snake that Dean Boswell identified as Naidoo’s visitors. (Supplied)

Meanwhile, Naidoo was desperately trying to get hold of a snake catcher to help, but having no luck due to the fact that it was in the middle of the night.

Fortunately for him, his brother sent him the number of Dean Boswell who picked up his call and agreed to meet him at a petrol station in Athlone nearby.

“The drive to the garage was the longest one of my life!” laughed Naidoo.

Snake expert Boswell said when he met up with Naidoo around 02:00, he was in distress.

“I gave him my snake book to browse through so he could identify the snakes he’d seen so I could know what I was dealing with. Fortunately, according to his description, they were harmless brown southern egg eaters,” said Boswell.

Boswell said that he spent two hours looking for the snakes, but they were nowhere to be found.

“I looked everywhere and stripped the car as much as I could; but we couldn’t find them. Remember though that snakes do not need much space to hide,” said Boswell.

Dean Boswell with a venomous Mozambique Spitting Cobra he captured at Ashburton on Saturday night. (Supplied)

The next day Naidoo took his car to his mechanic and after stripping it down extensively found one of the serpents coiled up under his dashboard. The second snake was never found.

Snakes are making a regular appearance this summer all around the Kwa­Zulu-Natal Midlands area.

Boswell advised everyone to be vigilant, and to contact a professional if they come across a snake as the province has some very venomous species like the green and black mambas, Mozambique spitting cobra, puff adder and stiletto snake.

“If you are not sure what snake it is, please do not touch it,” said Boswell.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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