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Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 9:44 pm 
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Location: Oudtshoorn
Don't know about top 5, but this is definitely the tops in Western Cape, and Oudtshoorn is Cobra City.
Cape Cobra Naja nivea

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 Post subject: Cape cobra
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 5:50 pm 
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Location: Oudtshoorn
Yes, I have a large library of reptile photos.
Here is another photo of that male cobra, just before he got annoyed. At this stage he was just curious; large cape cobras, particularly the males, tend to be quite laid back. This chap I have known for a while lives in a patch of fynbos close to Oudsthoorn Prison.

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 Post subject: Cape Cobra
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:17 pm 
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Location: Oudtshoorn
Here is another male I have known for four years at DeHoop Nature reserve. Here he is coming out of his burrow having a good look around before leaving. Spreading the hood is not necessarily a sign of aggression, just curiosity. I watch him from my bakkie. With other cobras and mambas I use binoculars, just like bird-watching. Yes, this male has been in the same burrow (refuge) for all that time. Another unusual thing is that the females come to him. With most snakes it is the males that go mate-searching. He also has a stumpy tail, lost it to a predator or perhaps a car! Will post a photo of him basking soon you can see the stumpy tail.

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 Post subject: Cape Cobra
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:27 pm 
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Location: Oudtshoorn
Here he is basking, quite relaxed, you can see the stumpy tail.
In summer he usually emerges at 1030hrs, you can almost set your watch by him. He basks for about half an hour and then moves off. I have seen him hunting away from the refuge on a number of ocassions, including lying on the road. He once picked up a dead skaapstecker of the road, the thing was really squashed, but he swallowed it gravel 'an all! He's quite a character, hate to see him get run over.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:38 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Again, a lovely photograph. It's incredible seeing the scales so clearly. Beautiful colour.

I didn't know that snakes would go for dead prey. I thought that they needed live bait.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:28 pm 
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Location: Oudtshoorn
Cape cobras have a thing about climbing into the engine compartment of cars. I have taken quite a few out of such in tbhis area. Also black spitting cobra has been known to 'hitch a ride' from Namaqua to Cape Town!!

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 Post subject: Re: Identification help: Snakes
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:07 pm 
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road kill in KTP, april 14

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was this once a cape cobra? unfortunately the head was no longer there when we came across it


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 Post subject: Re: Identification help: Snakes
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:53 pm 
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Location: Waar die enigste slang 'n tuinslang is...Joburg
Yes, its a cape cobra, but it looks a bit darker than the normal ones from that area. The head still seems to be there though!

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 Post subject: Snake: Cape Cobra
Unread postPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 10:01 pm 
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first of all I hope I am correct in assuming that this is indeed a cape cobra (as seen on the road to nossob in KTP about 4 weeks ago)

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for all the minutes we stayed with it the snake did not move at all, at the same time not showing any (outside) wounds...I later learned that cape cobras sometimes play dead...but why? as a defense mechanism? defense against what? would a predator not "pick up" a presumably dead snake? or does the snake "hope" to look like for instance a branch of a tree?

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 Post subject: Re: Snake: Cape Cobra
Unread postPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 10:16 pm 
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Location: Waar die enigste slang 'n tuinslang is...Joburg
Sorry to tell you this but there is a good reason why this one didn't move... it's dead... Few cobras have been known to play dead but the Rinkhals (not a true cobra) is brilliant at this game. But if given the chance they will make a rapid escape, and in all likelihood they will not do this in the road.

This snake was probably driven over and you often find that even though they have no external wounds, the back bone is broken and the snake is paralized and will die soon after. I would imagine this kind of injury will be even more common on sandy soil where there aren't many sharp objects to cut through the skin.

The reason rinkhals play dead is probably to get into a better position for a strike. They might be relatively slow strikers that some animals can dodge (such as meerkats and mongoose), but they might very well be able to get a bite in if the animal drops his/her guard because the snake is "dead". And other animals might simply lose interest if there is no movement...

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 Post subject: Re: Snake: Cape Cobra
Unread postPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 10:40 pm 
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what makes you believe it was dead? simply because I tell you it didn't move? because while we were watching it another car stopped..I told the driver that I thought the snake was dead and he was the one who said "oh no, it ain't, it's just pretending"...and he seemed to know what he was talking about...a few hours before we had indeed come across a dead cape cobra (I posted pictures on the "snake ID" thread) and there you can clearly see how the car tyres left "imprints" on the snakes' body

here's another pic of the second snake...I'm by no means an expert but this position doesn't look one of a snake that has tried to crawl away from an approaching car only to be run over by it...but hey, you guys will probably know way better than me

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 Post subject: Re: Snake: Cape Cobra
Unread postPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 8:53 am 
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Unfortunately I have to agree with BushSnake :( I saw a couple just like it in the KTP, and they both looked the same- no external injuries (because of the sand), but very much dead. I've come across lots of Cape Cobras, and have never met one that plays dead or stays still. Cape Cobras will either hood up at you or get away at the first oppertunity.

The position it's in looks like it might have writhed around in pain before it died. Not nice...


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 Post subject: Re: Snake: Cape Cobra
Unread postPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 9:04 am 
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ok, I trust you guys on this :)


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 Post subject: Re: Snake: Cape Cobra
Unread postPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 9:23 am 
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Sorry I should have explained this in the previous post.... The posture isn't right for a snake that is playing dead. All the rinkhals, heralds and skaapstekers that I have seen play dead with their heads exposed, and not half buried in the sand like this one. Our snakes only really play dead once you start handling them, and will not remain like that if the "threat" moves on.

We often remove snakes from tar roads so that we can release them in safer environments, and all too often have we opened the bucket or bag the next morning only to find a snake that looked perfectly healthy the previous evening, to be laying belly up... I specifically remember a nice big fat puff adder in January near Lephalale (Ellisras) that still puffed at us, and still struck at moving objects, and she was completely dead the next morning. Only after a very detailed inspections did we find the broken back bone, but there were absolutely no external damage at all.

It remains extremely sad to see all these dead snakes on roads... especially in National Parks where people should be looking out for them!

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 Post subject: Re: Snake: Cape Cobra
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:56 am 
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Cape Cobra in KTP:

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