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Unread postPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 7:46 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Your son is 100% correct Snoobab. You can drink snake venom- provided that you do not have any bad teeth and or ulcers in your mouth and stomach. I think someone or myself posted this somewhere before, but to keep it simple I'll explain it as follows;
Snake venom consists of protiens which will be broken down by the gastric acids and absorbed stomach lining. should you drink it- no harm. Remember venom is only modified saliva.
When it gets into an open wound it gets absorbed by your lymph system and enters your bloodsteam via the arteries in your neck this is when it gets to work. Result- BIG problems... Your immune system will eventually break down the venom but normally too late.... There are other factors like venom type (cytotoxic, neurotoxic, heamotoxic and myotoxic) and the compositition thereof and type of bite that also plays a role.

BTW it tastes almost like batery acid or maybe I can describe it as a metallic taste. Now please don't try this at home... :naughty:

While we are on the subject and espesially to the youngsters out there. I know keeping snakes are becoming a cool/ fasion or whatever 'thing' but take this simple advice from me.
Snake bite is not a joke and believe me you do not want to be bitten. Doesn't matter by what snake. It is simply just not worth it. I can post some snakebite pic's but I think I'll be banned from this forum for posting matter not suitable for sensitive viewers :twisted:
Rather leave these creatures alone and they will leave you alone. (Jumbo is the only exception here because they like her.. :lol: ) If you mess with them you are going to be bitten sooner or later- It is just a matter of time.... and it is also illegal to catch or keep indigineous snakes without permits. (permit system differs from province to province). (But you can kill them :roll: .... no problem)


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Unread postPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 8:02 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Thanks for that explination Pilane.
I do not have ulcers or mouth sores and as much as I believe you there is no way I would ever put it to test.
I will let my son know and then have to find another argument that I can win, I hate loosing :evil:


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Unread postPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 9:52 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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just like to add to pilane's explanation

mamba venom has a low molecular weight therefore gets transported by the capillaries. non spitting cobra have a higher density and get transported via the lymphatic system the cytotoxic venom has the highest molecluar weight of the venoms. and I would also like to emphasise his warnings on capturing snakes unless you know what you are doing don't try this at home :lol:

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Unread postPosted: Sun May 14, 2006 3:34 pm 
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the only thing i could find on a bottle of "snake repel" is that it is ailicone based repellant

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The popular argument for destroying rather than protecting snakes is lack of knowledge, and yet there is no valid excuse for this - Austin James Stevens


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:42 am 
I’m posting in this thread…even though its got to do with a Black Mamaba, it did not happen in a SANParks….the quotes were taken out of the Black Mamba thread.
We had our closest ever Black Mamba encounter on 26 December at our house in Marloth. With this encounter I learned quite a few things that I wish to share.

DuQues wrote:
Quote:
The black mamba is so secretive, quick, shy and alert that your chances of getting bitten are almost non-existent.


Jumbo wrote:
….apparently they seldom permit a close approach (within 40m).


First thing I learned (again) is that snakes do not read books and to presume a snake will react in a certain way because of the way its character is described in books, might cost you your life.

My SO was sitting just outside our veranda…this was in the middle of the day. The next moment a black mamba sails past him….was less than a meter away from him. At about 1.2m, it was still a youngster, but certainly not less scary or less venomous.
So much for a shy snake not allowing a close approach….suppose that only applies when you approach it and not the other way around? :roll:

The second thing we learned is that the product “Snake Repel” most definitely works. ….Christo first told us about this product on this Forum….we are forever grateful to you. The Mamba wanted to get onto our veranda, but at the spot where we sprayed the repellent the previous day, it made a u-turn….came back again, and again turned away.

The snake then went into a pile of doormats that was lying on the ground…and it disappeared….if we did not see it going in there we would not have even thought that there is a snake between them. :shock: My third lesson: The doormats was lying there because I was washing floors, if we did not know the snake was between those mats I would have picked them up after the floors were dry…and most probably got bitten. I will never pick up anything lying outside again without first checking what might be in/under it….even if it was just on the ground for a few minutes….a broomstick is now my aid.

What happened next has bearing on my first lesson. Firstly I should say that this snake was not at all cornered….it had the whole of the Marloth bush to retreat to. We thus figured that if we can chase it out of the mats it would rather return to the bush and leave us alone. The SO got onto the veranda and with a long stick shuffled the mats that was lying on the other side….the next moment with, its body raised up and with the speed of light, this snake dashed out of the mats, over the “Snake Repel line” onto the veranda and straight for the SO. :shock: Luckily for my hubby the tiles on the veranda was slippery for the snake and that broke its speed. Among all of this I have to admit that it was quite funny to hear the SO scream like a 4-year old girl. :lol:

With the SO chased away the mamba now climbed on top of the wall surrounding our veranda. I have previously seen how a Moz Cobra “sail” up a brick wall, but this mamba just lifted its body and in one step climbed on top of the wall….then the part that made me go cold….it wanted to use one of the tree stumps supporting our roof to get into the roof!!! :shock: :shock: I can still handle the crime in Marloth, but if we had to have a Mamba in the roof I would put the house up for sale immediately!!
The previous day we used the hosepipe to chase a Moz Cobra back to the bush (worked like a bomb :wink: ) and while the mamba was still between the mats I gave my SO a bucket full of water. As the mamba started climbing the tree stump, and me getting hysterical, the SO threw the bucket of water to the snake. The snake retreated and again disappeared between the mats.

At this point we called the “snake guys”. To make a even longer story shot, after a long struggle to first capture the snake, it was eventually killed :cry: ….this was sad but the snake was acting very aggressively and had no desire to return to the bush…our roof was where it wanted to be.
With a youngster of 1.2m acting like this I just pray that I will never encounter the mama of 4m!!!


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 Post subject: Snake hibernation in South Africa
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:21 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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I'm still learning about the snakes of Southern Africa. Nothing seems to be telling me about their hibernation patterns though. I know they must hibernate in the Cape, but around when (yes, 'winter' obviously, but...)? I also assume they don't hibernate in places like Kruger, but am I wrong?

Can anyone explain this to me? Thanks :)


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 Post subject: Re: Snake hibernation in South Africa
Unread postPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 5:40 pm 
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Location: Waar die enigste slang 'n tuinslang is...Joburg
You are partly correct. Some snakes will retreat for the entire winter, but many of the diurnal species that are active during the day will still come out on warm sunny days (like mambas, cobras, sand snakes, etc). Some species will disappear almost completely and hibernate in disused termite mounds and under large rocks that retain a bit of heat.

Your nocturnal species (house snakes, egg-eaters, etc) will most likely hibernate, but even they might come out if there is a series of nice and warm days. We have found snakes active and out hunting in the Northern Cape when it is 10 and 12 degrees celcius, so I guess some snakes can survive really cold temperatures! That said, I seriously doubt if you will find something out and about when it is less than 18 in the KNP.

In Gauteng, most snakes (and lizzards) disappear around April and only become active during September, and mostly only in October. It has a lot to with rainfall as well, and even in mid summer snakes go into hiding if the area is too dry!

It also depends on the species. Puff adders are especially active now (just before real winter sets in) but most of the other species seem to have gone to bed already in the bushveld areas (Ellisras / Lephalale area). But some snakes like pythons are often seen throughout the winter months.

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 Post subject: Re: Snake hibernation in South Africa
Unread postPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 8:25 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Thank you for that great answer :D

I've just come back from Addo and had no real luck with snakes. You're right about the Puff Adders though. Both of my sightings were Puff Adders.


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 Post subject: life span of snakes
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:44 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Can somebody tell me what's the maximum life span of snakes living in the wild? I've checked my books but couldn't find anything! Is there a way to detect the age of a snake, maybe scales :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: life span of snakes
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:46 pm 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Could found some info, but how accurate it is I can't guarantee :wink:

python - up to 30 years
puff adder - up to 13 years
boomslang - up to 8 years

Would be interesting to see what the others say :hmz:


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 Post subject: Re: SNAKE ACTIVITY
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:19 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Mfezi, snakes are around all the time, you actually might have a better chance in winter but they are there and if you are lucky you may see a couple :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: SNAKE ACTIVITY
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:20 pm 
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Snake are there, even if you don't see them. Just wait for the first good rains, and you might be able to spot them more easier :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: SNAKE ACTIVITY
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:40 pm 
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Hi Mfezi!

There is a huge increase in snake activity in summer as they tie in their activity with things like the emergence of termites and all that feeds on them. In fact seeing active snakes in winter is quite rare.
Saw 4 black mambas on a recent summer trip of a week or so and a few others snakes.

Perhaps try and get on a night drive in a quiet area where you will have a good chance of seeing Puff Adders 'lazing' about on the warm roads.

Nov-Dec are the times I viewed the most snakes while working in the bush. I think also because its hot, the bush isn't so thick yet and as mentioned its the start of the feeding frenzy for many animals.

:thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: SNAKE ACTIVITY
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 5:16 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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O-dog, yes a few snakes especially the ambush foragers will be reasonably less active in winter but that does not apply to all snakes. , they must be able to maintain their body temperatures at a certain level to maintain cellular integrity so in winter will most likely just take longer to do so, relying on basking areas.

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"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle


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 Post subject: Re: SNAKES / REPTILE Big 5 or 6
Unread postPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 9:40 am 
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Location: The Netherlands
is there a general rule on where snakes would be? Do they like to lay on sand road / roads to warm up?
When if any is the best time to see them?


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