Become a snake wrangler

Boomslang.(Credit: Reptile Ventures)
Boomslang.(Credit: Reptile Ventures)
The Cape Reptile Institute (CRI) gives regular courses in snake awareness, identification and handling to interested members of the public.

The first day of the course is devoted to snake awareness and first aid. This includes snake identification and handling of non-venomous snakes. The first aid involves practical scenarios i.e. you (or a friend) has just been bitten by a Cape cobra, puffadder or other venomous snake.

The second day is venomous snake handling of three species - Cape Cobra , Puff Adder and Boomslang - and involves learning how to safely use snake hooks, which are provided.

There will be a written test, which is straightforward (not too technical). After successfully completing the course you will receive a certificate. Participants also receive a copy of the Snake Awareness, Identification and Handling Manual.

The CRI course is presented by reptile experts of many years standing - Dr Tony Phelps, Marcel Witberg and Kobus Smit - and is endorsed by the Field Guide Association of South Africa (FGASA).

The next course will be held from 26-27 July 2014, 09h00 to 16h00 at the Driftsands Environmental Centre near Cape Town. Course fees are R800 per person, and participants must be 18 years or older.

For more information and to reserve a place contact Marcel Witberg 082 7847314

Read Health24 EnviroHealth Editor's experience of doing the course: Charming snakes

Slide show: Dangerous snakes
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