- A puff adder, spotted by accident underneath a pile of leaves, tried to safeguard itself before being removed by seasoned KwaZulu-Natal snake catcher Nick Evans.
- Evans said it is more likely to see these species in the bushy areas of outer west Durban, where the 60cm reptile was found.
- Evans appealed to the public to stay away from puff adders and immediately call a professional as their bite is life-threatening.
A Durban woman got the shock of her life when she realised the hard object she jabbed while raking was a puff adder concealed in a pile of leaves.
The incident happened in August, but snake catcher Nick Evans only recently released the footage of the rescue.
In the video, the 60cm puff adder is seen coiled underneath a pile of leaves, trying to keep warm on a cold winter's day in Monteseel.
Evans was called to the house to remove the snake.
He told News24 it did not take much effort to catch and safely remove the highly venomous reptile.
"The lady got a big fright needless to say. It was pretty easy, it just lay there. I think it was hoping that we couldn't see it. It was a cold day and I think it was trying to hide and find somewhere warm," he said.
Although puff adders prefer the savannah and grassland, Evans said it was not uncommon to find one in that area as it was bushy and easy for it to blend in with the surroundings.
"Their mating season is in late summer, but they seem to be seen all year round. In Durban, we don't get many, in fact pretty much none. We only start seeing them west of Durban."
A puff adder is known as one of the most deadliest snakes in the world, as they are venomous and can inflict a life-threatening bite.
Evans said if spotted, one should keep a safe distance and leave it alone.
"It doesn't want to attack you, don't try to catch it or kill it, it just wants you to leave it alone. Rather call a professional remover." The puff adder was the first one he has caught in a few months.
The last one he captured was a baby in the early months of the nationwide lockdown.