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Snakes

Find, identify & discuss the marine species of SANParks
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Tabs
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Unread postby Tabs » Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:15 pm

Pilane wrote:Always us a pressure bandage even for cytotoxic like a Puff adder;


Thanks Pilane - I must check this out as it is not what I have lbeen taught; but I know that advice in First Aid is constantly changing :)

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wildtuinman
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Wed Feb 16, 2005 10:58 am

I can tell u that a puffadder is not a thing you want to cross your lightsaber with!

It's venom can kill up to 4 adults!

Luckily the venom works slowly but it is extremely venomous. It is cytotoxic and causes severe swelling, pain and necrosis. Which means that skin crafting will be your future if not treated quickly. It probably hits & kills more humans in Africa than any other snake as it lies deadstill until u step on it. Others normally flee.

You'll be lucky to disturb it following a hiss from the snake which you won't forget easily. It strikes quickly!!

It often swims, and lies on warm roads at night. It lives for up to 14 years if it has plenty of warmth and sunshine. Large amount of venom (100-350 mg); 100 mg is fatal in humans. The long fangs (12-18 mm) inject the venom deeply, and bites are usually inflicted on the lower leg.

Bites are common, but only a small proportion proves fatal; nonetheless, this snake causes over 60% of serious bites in the region, and is responsible for most of the fatalities. Death usually results from kidney failure and other complications caused by the extensive swelling.

It is essential to treat a victim of its bite for fluid loss, and
antivenom should be used in serious cases.

Read more about treatment : http://www-surgery.ucsd.edu/ent/DAVIDSO ... ietans.htm
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Unread postby wildtuinman » Thu Feb 17, 2005 8:41 am

On a hiking trail in the Park we came across a python track. It was about 30cm wide. Now that is a huge snake!!
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Re: pythons

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Apr 04, 2005 7:08 am

Bush Baptist wrote:I saw a python cross the road near Muntshe in July one year :D when they are supposed to be hibernating, any comment

Hi and welcome Bush baptist,

I have seen more snakes in winter times in the Park than any other time. The Park does not become that cold for them to hibernate.

I have seen a 2-3m long black mamba near Shingwedzi main entrance gate last year June.

Hope this answers your question.
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Unread postby wildjohn » Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:04 am

Hi,

Echoing what wtm says, think its only temperate areas like highveld where they will be dormant in winter. Lowveld temp in winter is lekker (=nice - to those from abroad) on those roads.

wj

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Re: Venom of mfezi ?

Unread postby Jumbo » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:30 am

wildjohn wrote:Hi Forumers,

Does anyone know why the mozambique spitting cobra (mfezi) has both cytotoxic and neurotoxic venom ?


Yours,
w


“Predominantly cytotoxic, causing serious local tissue damage that often requires skin grafts. Only slight neurotoxic symptoms, such as drowsiness, may occur and fatalities are rare. “ A Complete Guide to the snakes of Southern Africa, Johan Marais

I will leave this to the experts like Pilane or mfb to answer…I’m clueless as to why.
If I have to take a wild guess: Puffadders are part of the Moz. cobra’s diet, wonder if that hasn’t got anything to do with it. This is something I almost cannot believe…has anybody ever witness a Moz. cobra “catching” a puffadder?

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Unread postby Albert » Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:51 am

As a comparative latecomer to the forums, I've only just read this thread...as we have virually always gone to Kruger in June/July, we have seen relatively few snakes, but over the past 2-3 years we have actually spotted quite a few. In the northern areas I discovered that one can quite frequently see snakes in the mid-morning on the "sunny" side of old termite mounds. Have spotted cobra, black mamba, a file snake, python, and a few "what the hell was that"s over the past few years.. :lol:
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Unread postby mfb » Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:32 pm

like all the "spitters" ... the primary defence of the mfezi is to spit through it's modified fangs ... the cytotoxic venom is sprayed towards the eyes (although i had one that spat everywhere except at my face :lol: ) ... anyway ... the venom causes inflammation of the eyes and is extremely painful (caused by the cytotoxic component) and thus allowing the snake to make good it's escape
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Unread postby nunu » Fri Jun 02, 2006 2:41 pm

Hi Albert

I have also seen quite a few snakes in the winter in recent years, especially north of olifants. What I find are extremely common in June July are puffadders. Try the old Shingwedzi Main Road via Shilowa. Man they are everywhere - just lapping up the warm winter sun. Also have seen Moz cobras in winter but have not seen a mamba in ages. Saw a python inside mopani camp at night quite recently though - must be all the bunnies.

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Unread postby Penny » Sat Jun 03, 2006 9:13 am

The only camp I have ever seen a large number of snakes was at Talamati - one October there were so many puff adders on the lawns we lost count! We also saw a Vine snake in Skukuza one day! We have a timeshare at the Paul Kruger gate and one evening my daughter and her husband let out a yell when a snake (unknown sp) fell onto their bed from the roof - he was ushered out the french doors of their bedroom with the aid of a broom!
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Unread postby Nico » Sat Jun 03, 2006 10:04 am

We had in Shingwedzi a cottage with problems. The airco didn't work and it was very hot. So we got an other cottage. Next day we heard that thtere was a big puff adder under the bed, so we were lucky that the airco helped us for an other cottage.

A year later we had a BRAAI in Shingwedzi with a good friend of us, Cobus a field guide from Lower Sabie. He was on holiday. It was already dark and we were enjoying the Braai when we heard that loud scream of a young women. We went there and saw a very big Moz. spitting cobra. Cobus recognised the snake immediately and it disappeared into the bushes.

An other snake we saw in Lower Sabie, crossing the road in the camp. A man walked right to the snake without seeing it. I called him and pointed to the snake and the man jumped backwards and talked with us from the other side of the car.

Snakes will always be in the camps but they will always avoid people as much as they can. Keep your eye's open and always look under the bed when you go to sleep. :shock: :wink:
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Unread postby graemy » Sat Jun 03, 2006 10:49 am

Nico

I just found it so "funny" that in response to someone who has a certain fear (not to say phobic fear) of snakes, everyone, except Bert, pulled out their horror stories of snake encounters. I was just seeing the funny side.

I am myself very aware of wildlife in the camps.

I should have added (and there, you are very right) that it's not because I didn't see any snakes that I wasn't very careful.
I always looked where I was putting my feet, always walked with a flashlight at night, checked any area before sitting down and stamped my feet a bit while walking in areas with longer grass.
Thanks for your reminder to properly inform forumites who have questions.

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Last edited by graemy on Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Bushmad » Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:11 am

Of course there are snakes in camps but I have to say that in all the times I have visited Kruger I have never seen a snake in camp.

Granted, I usually visit in the winter months (you will be there in spring) when they are much less active. I have been in summer too.

You really need not worry, snakes avoid people and only come into contact with us by mistake, they hurry away at the first sign of us. Secondly, as long as you don't leave the screen doors open, they won't be able to get in. I always check under the bed on the first day just to be sure. It is sensible to look where your'e walking if not on a clear path and to check parts of the bungalow (under the bed, cupboards, the bathroom etc..any dark, crevice like place.) But there is no need to check all the time, just do so casually when you first arrive to settle in and then make sure that you dont leave places for them to get in....the bungalows are cleaned daily and staff would most likely be the first to notice a snake and have it removed before you even get there.

Also, tell your SO, that in the unlikely event that a snake should be in your bungalow (it wont happen) the staff are perfectly able to remove it. In fact, you will probably see very few snakes out on the roads if at all....please tell your SO to relax and enjoy her time in the Park, in all likelihood you will not encounter a snake in a camp, even if you go looking for them. The stories above are true, and October can be a very hot month, so that would explain all the Adder activity at the time, but these are not the norm.
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Unread postby Jay » Sat Jun 03, 2006 11:26 am

Never ever seen a snake in the camps, and have been going to KNP for donkeys years...and yes, I do notice snakes, see them often enough here where I live :wink:

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Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Sat Jun 03, 2006 5:05 pm

I am also very afraid of snakes.
I have nearly stepped on a boomslang at Lower Sabie.
I have been to crazy spaces... we Kruger crazies all do. Just have a chat to your guardian angel and check your shoes :wink:
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