NWR’s snake handler aims to be the best

When one catches a snake, it should be released back into the wild, he said. “This helps maintain the ecosystem. If you kill it, you will disturb the ecosystem".

11 June 2021 | Local News

STAFF REPORTER







WINDHOEK

The mere mention of the word snake sends chills up some people's spines, but for 47-year-old Michael !Goreseb, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) snake handler, these animals fascinate him.

Having worked at NWR's Namutoni resort for the past 14 years and having recently relocated to Okaukuejo resort, !Goreseb has come into contact with all types of snakes over the years.

Originally from Otjiwarongo, he grew up and went to school in Tsumeb, where his mother moved to when he was younger.

He got introduced to snake handling at an early age by his grandfather, who was also a snake handler. As he grew older, he continued sharpening his skills, making it easier for him to catch all types of snakes.

"When I was a young boy, I started to catch these venomous snakes and all other types of snakes. That is how I got into catching snakes," !Goreseb said.

He added that when one catches a snake, it should be released back into the wild. “This helps maintain the ecosystem. However, if you kill it, you will disturb the ecosystem".

Dangerous profession

Over the years, he has gotten better at identifying the different types of snakes to the extent that he sometimes allows some of them to bite him.

"I know the differences between the different types of snakes, so I am trying not to be bitten by the venomous ones, but the mildly venomous ones. Because when they bite you, it will swell up and then subside after a few days.”

Recalling the most venomous snake he has caught, a black mamba comes to mind. Thus far, he has caught three black mambas, with the latest one being 3.6m long. His future plans are to grow in his profession to the point that he is recognised throughout the country as one of the best snake handlers around.

NOT SCARED: Michael !Goreseb showing off one of the snakes he recently caught. Photo: NWR

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