A young male puff adder was removed on Monday morning from the new premises of the department of education, in the Komani Office Park.
Department of Economic development, environmental affairs & tourism (Dedeat) assistant biodiversity manager, Tim de Jongh said puff adders were highly venomous and delivered a very painful bite that could lead to severe complications or death.
De Jongh said: ”I removed a harmless brown house snake last week from Balmoral Junior School Sports office. Maybe the reptiles want an education!”
He said both snakes were released in close proximity to where they were caught to ensure they could return to the habitat they came from.
”The house snake was released in the veld above the Balmoral mini astro and the puff adder in the veld in Komani Hospital grounds.
”The house snake came through under the back door to enter the Balmoral sports office and the puff-adder was outside the new department of education offices, lying on the patio outside an office.”
He said puff adders are usually found on the ground. They hide in thick grass, bushes ground cover or holes and often bask on warm,tarred roads.
”It relies on its excellent camouflage to escape detection and prefers to freeze, rather than move off.
”Although it is a sluggish snake it strikes rapidly. ”It is highly venomous and delivers a very painful bite. It does warn anyone coming close, by making a hissing sound.”
Brown house snakes were found almost everywhere and were more common around human dwellings, hence the common name, he said.
”It is a nocturnal constrictor that forages for rodents by securing its prey with its sharp teeth and then constricts, so it a useful snake to have around.
”Although the type of snake bites readily, it is totally non-venomous.”
De Jongh said they were also often called to remove baboons and vervet monkeys, which were illegally kept in captivity. ”The baboons are taken to the Stormberg Conservation Baboon and Wildlife Rehabilitation.
For more on this, visit www.stormbergconservation.co.za.
”As a rule, Dedeat does not remove snakes from premises. ”We have no mandate from Dedeat to do this and are not covered in the event of an accident sustained during the removal of dangerous animals. ”Doctors do not want to assist a government employee when they are taken for treatment as a result of an injury on duty. ”The Government Workman’s Compensation does not pay their accounts, so no one is willing to assist you.”