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Snake files: Keeping snakes as pets

Snake files: Keeping snakes as pets
Photo: Johan Marais
Photo: Johan Marais

Keeping snakes is a popular hobby in South Africa. All across the country, thousands of people keep a variety of snake species in their homes, from harmless to highly venomous.

Some enthusiasts build extravagant enclosures that are beautifully decorated with plants and water features, complete with heating and special lighting, while breeders usually keep snakes in simple but functional and hygienic enclosures.

Most provinces require permits to keep local snakes, except for KwaZulu-Natal where most snakes can be kept without a permit, even those caught in the wild. In other provinces, only captive-bred snakes may be kept as pets. (You can get a permit from your provincial nature conservation office, or e-mail Johan for details johan@asiorg.co.za – Ed.)

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