What to do when you encounter a snake in Cape Agulhas

We’ve recently posted some photos that were taken by The Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area (SMA), of a rather large mole snake. The thing about snakes is that they present a genuine and paralysing fear to many – yet most of them are really quite harmless. That’s right, most people are terrified of even the thought of one, let alone meeting a slithery reptile face-to-face. Then again, ask any snake expert, and the first thing they’ll tell you is that snakes are shy creatures and that the chances of a snake biting you are very rare because this goes against their survival instinct.

The interesting thing is that although there are around 42 snake species found in the Western Cape, there are only 3 found in the Cape Agulhas area, that are considered dangerous. These three, now please take a moment for respect, are the Cape Cobra, Puff Adder, and the Boomslang.

What to do when you encounter a snake

  1. Firstly, the best thing to do is to leave them alone!
  1. Call your nearest nature conservation authority and you will be put in contact with an authorised snake handler in the area. (SANParks - Agulhas National Park Tel: 028 435 6078)
  1. Remove any pets or children from the area.
  1. Keep an eye on the snake from a safe distance.
Did you know? Snakes are solar powered – They are ectotherms, e.g. they rely on their immediate environment for body temperature regulation, so when it’s cold their blood cools down but when it’s warm their blood and body temperature warms up.

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