The giant mole snake
This is a first for us! This morning, Fisantekraal residents came to us with a very large black snake – a mole snake. They explained that they had ‘found’ it nearby but we weren’t 100% sure when or where; it is often challenging to get all the details from people, particularly if there is a language barrier.
Without knowing for sure if this was a captive-bred snake or a wild one, it would be irresponsible of us to just let it go in the veldt but, as we have never had a snake before and aren’t trained to work with them, we called upon the folks at Cape Exotic Animal Hospital who very kindly took the snake for us so that it could be checked over (to ensure that it was healthy) and find it a new home, where it can live as nature intended. Thank you!
We urge people not to hurt or kill snakes out of fear. These animals perform a valuable service in keeping vermin that plague humans under control. Moreover, it is when people are trying to kill snakes that they are often bitten. If you have a snake on your property, leave it alone. Most snakes will just slither away because they really do not want to tangle with you. Mole snakes are endemic to the area and, although not venomous, they can give a nasty bite and can be pretty aggressive if threatened. So, it is best to just leave them be if you spot them in the wild.
If you are concerned about a venomous snake (maybe you have children or animals that you fear may come into contact with it) or you are worried that your dog may hurt a snake, contact a local snake handler to remove and relocate it. The Cape Reptile Institute Blouberg Snake Rescue, and African Snakebite Institute have many contacts to help and they even offer snake-handling courses for people who would like to know more. ASI also has a great free app which you can download for identifying snakes. Find a snake removal expert here: Snake Removals.
The bottom line, for all snakes, is: LEAVE THEM ALONE. Snakes do not want to interact with us. If you give them a few minutes, most snakes will quickly get away.