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Understanding the snakes in our grass

During the summer months snake sightings in KwaZulu-Natal’s urban and suburban areas are common so it’s important to understand these misunderstood creatures and what to do if you come across one.

Snakes are generally defensive reptiles so when distressed normally slither away. However, they will strike if they feel cornered.

What to do if you do come across a snake?

  1. Remain calm, the chances are high it is not venomous.
  2. Keeping an eye on where it is, call a snake expert immediately. Don’t try to catch it yourself.
  3. If someone has been bitten by a venomous snake, go to the hospital for anti-venom. Remain calm as an increased heart rate pumps venom around the body faster.

Undoubtedly the most common, highly venomous snakes to be found in KZN’s urban areas are the black mamba and the Mozambique spitting cobra. Lesser venomous snakes include the rhombic night adder, stiletto snake and Natal black snake. Non-venomous snakes include the spotted bush snake, herald snake and brown house snake.

To learn how to identify a snake in your area please visit reptile and amphibian conservation expert Nick Evans’ website: www.nickevans.co.za or give him a call on 072 809 5806.


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