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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 7:49 pm 
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I do have one piece of good advice, should your cat, by some wierd chance, get bitten by a snake, give it Rescue Remedy, it will most likely save it's life :)


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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:54 pm 
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Rescue Remedy :wink: :lol: :lol: could save many a life :wink:
An interesting thing about snakes (heard on the discovery snake bite progamme) (sorry not a regular tv watcher :redface: :redface: ) up to 50% of snakebite victims are above the legal limit in terms of alchohol intake.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:41 pm 
Hi all
Just a quick visit to let you know that I have found a “Snake Terminator"..... or just call him “The Bill" :twisted: . He is now my best friend.
This mean machine caught what looks like a young mamba - I saw the kill and the tenderisation process. Hope he can do the same with the Mamma - suppose this qualifies as an organic deterrent? :wink:

Image

Image

@Francoisd, sorry cannot help with the ID - bought a snake book Friday but left it in my “bush house" need to tell the doctor what bit me :? .
Great photos BTW. Looks like it was quite a long snake! {brrrrrr, Jumbo getting chills right into her small toe} Maybe a Cape Cobra?

Edited to remove “error” characters that appeared after the database corruption.


Last edited by Jumbo on Thu May 04, 2006 9:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:51 am 
We found the following two critters on our veranda, even though I stained all our cement slabs around our house with the purple Jeyes Fluid - any advice how to get rid of Jeyes Fluid stains? :roll:

After our first snake, we bought the “Sasol Field Guide to Snakes and Reptiles". Unfortunately we found that this booklet was not comprehensive enough for our needs. We now purchased a very good book on snakes (will also mention this in the “Recommended reading" topic): “A complete guide to the snakes of Southern Africa, Johan Marais). We got it at the shop in Lower Sabie. I can truly recommend this book. It is easy to use and has very valuable info. - includes first aid information. :wink:

ImageLarge

This beautiful snake we found midday, just as we returned from a Kruger daytrip.
It was very relaxed. The steps it is lying on, is next to the driveway.
We manoeuvred the car back and forth a few times hoping the vibration will persuade it to leave, but it just moved it's head looking at the 2 people sweating it out in the warm car.
Eventually we got somebody to come and catch the snake.
The snake lay still, till the guy touched it with the “catching stick" and only then sped off - so much for snakes being scared of humans. :?
With great difficulty it was eventually caught and released elsewhere.

We still have difficulty identifying this snake.
First thought was a green version of the boomslang.
But the guy, who caught the snake, said his eyes were not big enough for a boomslang.
Another options is a Angola Green Snake, but they only have a maximum length of 1.2m and this snake was almost 1.5 - doesn't look like that on the photo but we saw it when it was caught and held up in the air.
Does anybody have an idea?
I had no idea that there are so many "green snakes", and that most of them are harmless.

Image

This one was a Mozambique Spitting Cobra (M'fezi in Zulu).
Somewhere I posted that they are responsible for the most snakebite casualties in SA, but it seems that my info. was incorrect - and the source I got it from.
The M'fezi is however classified as a very dangerous snake that accounts for many bites in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.
This one took us by surprise.
We were busy having dinner on the veranda when I by chance noticed a bundle next to the front door.
It was quite dark - we prefer to use lanterns i.s.o. electrical lights.
It was coiled up between the burglar bars and the door and we have no idea how long it was there and when it decided to join us. :shock:
This M'fezi wasn't fully-grown, about 60cm in length - their maximum length is 1.5m.
We had to get the “snake catching man" again {At R50 per snake I will have to add a new item to my household budget. :roll: )

Some interesting fact on this snake, taken from “A complete guide to the snakes of Southern Africa" (Johan Marais).
It is mostly active by night although juveniles are quite active by day.
“It is a retiring snake that seldom stands its ground"
This snake bites and also spits its venom.
It can spit up to 2m and does not always spread its hood before spitting - “can spit effectively from a concealed position within a rock crevice"
One of its preferred preys is Puff Adder.


Last edited by Jumbo on Thu May 04, 2006 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:57 pm 
christo wrote:
I've seen a product at a nursery that is silicone based and claims to be an effective snake deterrent.


Hi Christo

Thanks for this info. Will keep my eyes open for it. 8)

We only saw an M'fezi once in Kruger. It was crossing the road near Mopani - unfortunately only have video of that. It was a fully-grown one.
Have to say, I much more prefer watching them crossing the road in Kruger that having them on my veranda.

After our experiences with these snakes, I have to say that I have more respect for the Kruger rangers that have to venture into the bush by foot. I'm sure the guys from the anti-poaching units, that do foot patrols, often encounter snakes - and in the even of a bite, it may take a while to get them medical treatment.

Toddelelfe wrote:
Very interestening guests at your home and nice pics.

LOL Thanks, but I took about 15 photos of the M'fezi, and this was the only one that was in focus - I was shaking too much. :redface:

Edited to remove “error” characters that appeared after the database corruption.


Last edited by Jumbo on Thu May 04, 2006 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 5:59 pm 
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The name of the repellent is "snake repel", manufactured by a company called repel in Dbn. It costs R64.95 for a 500ml trigger bottle. (But I am sure it can be found cheaper)

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 7:58 pm 
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Quote:
We still have difficulty identifying this snake.


Looking at the length, the dark edges of the bright green scales
head shape, colour under the chin and we have..... a superb specimen of a male boomslang!


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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2006 9:07 am 
Pilane wrote:
Looking at the length, the dark edges of the bright green scales
head shape, colour under the chin and we have..... a superb specimen of a male boomslang!


Thank you Pilane.
Wow but you do have a vast knowledge of snakes! :D: I'm intrigued to what your "day-job" is

Have to say that this boomslang was so beautiful that I wasn't really scared of him - he was actually cute in a certain way. But the M'fezi, that is a mean looking creature! :evil:

Pilane mentioned that the green snake was a male boomslang. Here is some more info. I got from my wonderful snake book “A complete guide to the snakes of Southern Africa" (Johan Marais).
{It has been mentioned that I am now the “snakelady" :wink: :lol: , well trust me, it is definitely not by choice - I think you guys can see that we do have a teeny weenie problem with snakes at our “bush house". SO and I have now decided to start and mark of the snakes in our book, as we do with the birds. :roll:
Seeing that I'm now educating myself on these creatures, I think I might share a few interesting tit bits with the forum}

The colour of the boomslang:
“Most females are light to olive brown with dirty white to brown bellies, whereas males might have the following coloration: (a) green to olive green with or without black interstitial skin, the belly a similar but lighter colour; (b) bright green with black-edged scales, giving the snake a crossbarred appearance; (c) dark brown to black with bright yellow bellow; (d) black above with dark grey belly scales that are black-edged. Brick-red specimens are found in some areas.
There are also intermediates of these colours, and occasionally females have typical male coloration"

To me this basically means the boomslang can be any colour. I think the best way to id them is the big eyes and short stubby head.

As I mentioned before, there is quite a number of green snakes, and to my untrained eye, they all look the same. It appears that the only two green snakes that are dangerous are the boomslang and the green mamba. The green mamba has a more flatter head that the boomslang (talking under correction, but if the snake on my photo was a green mamba, the chin wouldn't have gone up, it would have been flat on the ground)

The other green snakes are of the genus Philothamnus. All of these snakes are harmless but are often confused with the boomslang and green mamba. I have to say, I can see why. The problem is, although they are harmless, they also bite and act aggressively when cornered. This behaviour and their similar appearance to the harmful snakes probably causes them to be killed be people. :(:
Snakes of this genus are the Spotted Bush Snake, Ornate Green Snake (not found in SA), Angola Green Snake, Green Water Snake and Natal Green Snake.

@Christo. Thank you for the info. and the trouble you went through to get it. :D I did a search on the Internet and found the product. Am going to try and order it - doubt that the shops in Maputo will stock it. Will let you know if it works.

PS: Pilane, it appears (touch wood) that the chlorine in the cage is working. On the other hand the resident "cage" gecko is still living there and actually running over the dry chlorine :?

Edited to remove “error” characters that appeared after the database corruption.


Last edited by Jumbo on Thu May 04, 2006 9:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:22 am 
Having a bush house in "snake heaven", I had the privilege to encounter another snake. Luckily this was a small and harmless specimen. :wink:

Initially we thought it was a sort of worm (and weren't far off in our presumption). It was about 10cm in length, thin and had a black polished appearance. It was moving slowly in a straight line - thus our belief that it was a worm. But, when we touched it, it immediately sped away in the typical side-to-side snake movement.
Later, with the help of my wonderful snake book, “A complete guide to the snakes of Southern Africa, Johan Marais", we identified this snake as the Incognito Worm Snake.
Unfortunately we did not get a photo of it. Here is a photo I got with the help of Google, but it is not of the specimen we encountered (it is a worm snake found in the USA). The snake we saw had a more blunt head.

Image

Some interesting facts about this snake, taken from my snake book:
The worm snake is also known as the thread snake.
They are burrowers that feed on termites, ants and fleas.
The Incognito Worm Snake is mostly found beneath stones, logs, or in termite mounds. However, you may find them on the ground surface after heavy rains.
Worm snakes have cylindrical bodies with a blunt head and short tail.
“Worm snakes have no teeth in the upper jaw and have only one lung and one oviduct (the tube that carries eggs from the ovary).
They have reduced eyes that may be visible as dark spots beneath the skin; however they are blind.
Their eggs are attached, resembling sausages {And IMHO massive, if you compare it to the adult snake}
Other Worms Snakes that can be found in Kruger are: Long-tailed Worm Snake (pinkish colour), Peter's Worm Snake (reddish brown to black, average size 20m), Distant's Worm Snake (uniform grey-black in colour) - and then Jumbo's Worm Snake :lol: (AKA Incognito Worm Snake - uniform black in colour)


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Unread postPosted: Thu May 04, 2006 7:56 am 
Yesterday was a record day for me ……but I really hope that this record will never get broken – I had 3 snake encounters in one day. :big_eyes:

Zebra and me went to Marloth for the day. When we got there this young Vine Snake was waiting for us.
(BTW, why is his body so full of bumps – is it always like that or did he eat something? :? )

Image

I tried to persuade it to rather get into a tree – was scared we will step on him. This is supposed to be a shy snake, but like I have said previously, none of my Marloth snakes read the book. First I hit the ground with a broom close to him, and even thought there was more than enough get-away space, he did not budge. Then I lightly touched him with the soft bristles of the broom and he just got angry – lifted himself up like this and flickered his red tongue.

Image

Eventually I just left him. Only then he slowly made his way to a tree.

Later the day I went to have a look at our waterhole. While standing at the edge, I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye. There was a BIG snake on his way, at full speed, straight at me. :shock: I responded with a few back flips, midair splits, and some other movement that I don’t think I will ever be able to redo again. My subtle screams got Zebra to run out. She was just in time to see a piece of him after he turned around and went back to where he came from. Unfortunately I was not able to ID him while I was busy with my acrobatic routine. :roll: I was absolute shivers and Zebra found that quite amusing, but she got her chance later… :twisted:

The afternoon Zebra went out at the front door onto the veranda. I just heard the scream “HEEEEEELP, big snake”. There a Mozambican Spitting Cobra was busy climbing the stairs to get onto the veranda. It wisely desised to retreat (at least one that read the book) and went through our carport to the back of the house.

Most of my photos I took of him came out like this - shivers :wink: .

Image

But miraculously I got this one while he was in the carport.

Image

At the back of the house he went straight to our outside basin, climbed the brick wall and disappeared into a crack behind the basin. I got the feeling he often uses this spot and could not leave him there – we frequently use this basin. I had to call the “snake-catch man” again and had to pay R50 out of my “snake-catch” budget again.


More info on the Vine Snake ( A complete guide to the snakes of Southern Africa, Johan Marais)

*Average size: 1.2m (max 1.47m)
*It is back-fanged
*They are mostly tree-living and are superbly camouflaged as a branch or twig
*It moves gracefully and swiftly when disturbed. It may remain in the same position for several days if not disturbed
*Thought to be timid and retiring, it will inflate its neck to display the bright skin between the scales when threatened. Lunging strikes usually follow this, while the bright tongue flickers in a wavy motion.
* Males engage in combat, intertwining their bodies while attempting to push one another’s heads down.
*The common name “Bird Sake” appears to be inappropriate, as birds do not make up the bulk of this snake’s diet, probably because they are not easy to capture.
*This snake usually strikes from above and often swallows its prey with the anterior part of its body hanging downwards
*Its venom is a dangerous haemotoxic and very similar to the venom of the Boomslang. Bites are rare, which is fortunate because at present there is no antivenom.


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Unread postPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 8:53 am 
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Hi Jumbo
I your earlier post you mentioned that for Vine Snakes there is no antivenom. I have also read this and people say it therefore makes the Vine Snake the deadliest snake in SA.
Maybe Pilane can help us, but why is there no antivenom for this snake ?


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Unread postPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 9:05 am 
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It is very dangerous as boomslang antivenom does not help for this bite. But its is very shy and luckily back-fanged meaning that its bites don't often inject venom as well. The black mamba is still very much the most dangerous snake cause even with anti-venom if you don't get medical support soon with 30-45mins its good night nurse china for you. Puffadder bites are the most common and does serious tissue damage even with anti-venom or not. The other snakes also injects huge quantity of venom. A human's body generally start breaking venom down after a while, thus if u get hit by a bird snake (vine or twig snake otherwise known) you can get thru it with medical help.


Last edited by wildtuinman on Fri May 05, 2006 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Fri May 05, 2006 3:40 pm 
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the reason why there is no anti-venom for vine snake is quite simple.... there is no recorded bite except for those that are "snake handlers" ... i think there are 11 bites on record .. 2 of which were fatal ... so there is no real market for anti-venom .. therfore all the years of research costs and trials etc etc. are not warranted. ±90% of SA's snake bites are from cytotoxic snakes.

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Unread postPosted: Mon May 08, 2006 7:56 am 
I received a PM from Pilane that explained some of the things I saw and experienced with my latest snake encounters. Thought I will quote it here for those who are interested. {Thanks AGAIN Pilane – I, for one, truly appreciate it that you take the time to share your fast knowledge :thumbs_up: }

Pilane wrote:
As far as the crinkle cut vine snake is concerned. No, they don't eat ants/ termites (whish they did- would make feeding them a pleasure). What happens is that they would raid a nest of birds or rats for example and eat all the young. All this food gets queued up to get to the stomach and then you get this rippling effect. (This looks like the case here)
This also evident when another snake was eaten as it gets forced to the stomach by the muscles and once again the ripple effect. (Muscle structure in snakes is another interesting subject)
When any snake has a full tummy they are reluctant to move and would rather stand its ground like in this case. (Who runs around after a nice meal in any case?) If you upset it enough it will regurgitate the stomach contents to make an easy escape.

Then the charging snakes... There are only a few snakes that will really 'charge' you. Vine snakes and M'fezi's do not fall in this category. BUT YOU GET EXCEPTIONS!! Ask me I know.... Like you said, snakes can't/ don't/ won't read (Goes for lions as well) :D
They create the impression that they 'charge' you but what it is actually doing is that they only keeping you in its sight of view and best striking position. (Some people do differ on this though)



christo wrote:
The name of the repellent is "snake repel", manufactured by a company called repel in Dbn. It costs R64.95 for a 500ml trigger bottle. (But I am sure it can be found cheaper)


Christo, we eventually got hold of this repellent – same price, but I suppose desperate times calls for desperate measures. :roll: Thank goodness we did not see a snake this weekend and thus cannot give comment on whether it works or not. However, it did deter a baboon spider from going onto the veranda…. Made a u-turn at the spot where I sprayed the repellent.
Freda advised me that in i.s.o. spraying the repellent around the house as per the instructions, I should rather spray it on myself like I do with Tabard. :imsmilin:


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Unread postPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 11:12 am 
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Another snake question if anyone can help. My son and I have this argument, he claims he read somewhere that you can drink snake venom and it won't harm you (unless you have an ulcer somewhere). I would think it will harm you as it would be absorbed into your blood and that way harm you. Does anyone know what the truth is :?:


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