WATCH | KZN snake catcher left with scars and bruises after rescuing a large water monitor

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A Pietermaritzburg snake catcher got more than he had bargained for on Monday after he had to wrestle a 1.5-metre-long water monitor he was rescuing from a Camperdown home, leaving him with minor scratches on his arm.

Pieter Potgieter said he received a call from a woman in Camperdown, just outside Pietermaritzburg, who told him that a water monitor had just walked into her home.

“The monitor walked into her bedroom and they just closed the door and contacted me to help.

“We went out there and we caught it, but I was honestly not prepared for how big it was. It was about 1.5 metres long; the biggest one I’ve caught so far.

“I had it behind the head and the tail but underestimated its strength. I almost lost my grip behind its head and had to use both my hands, hence it scratched me. I would rather it scratches me than take a bite.

“It was the first time I’ve been scratched by one of these as well. It didn’t go as smoothly as I wanted it to go but I put it down to experience,” he said.

snake catcher
Snake catcher, Pieter Potgieter, was left with scratches after rescuing a large water monitor from a home in Camperdown.

The 55 litre bucket container Potgieter had brought along to store the animal in was also too small for the water monitor and he ended up using an old feed bag. Potgieter said the homeowner had a kitten that she quickly took to safety when she saw the water monitor in her house.

“A monitor that size would probably eat a kitten,” he said.

After capturing it with the help of his friend, Derrick Landman, Potgieter released it at a nature conservancy close by.

In the release video, the water monitor can be seen tussling its way out of the bag and disappearing into the bushes next to a dam.

Potgieter can be contacted on 071 572 2614 to help remove all uninvited reptile guests in your home.

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