‘Snakes won’t chase you’

Conflict between snakes and people in urban areas is a problem Windhoek shares with many cities around the world. Surrounded by farms and nature, the capital has a high prevalence of snakes in and around residences and industrial sites. But, says Namibia’s snake whisperer and catcher, a snake will never...

16 November 2018 | Health

Henriette Lamprecht - “On the contrary, snakes are shy animals that will only attack in self-defence,” says Francois Theart. He has made it his mission to educate and bust myths on his slithery friends.

Francois is the man behind Snakes of Namibia and has been removing snakes from urban areas in Windhoek since 2012. In 2015 a partnership was formed with the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) to better understand the conflict between snakes and humans in Namibia.

Part of this research project involved obtaining a research permit to guide protocol for the capturing and relocation of snakes in Namibia, as well as determining the root cause of human-snake conflict.

According to data collected between August 2015 and August 2018, 500 snakes of 23 different species were removed from homes, gardens and industrial sites in Windhoek.

“Snakes don’t chase people and normally don’t move in pairs,” Francois explains.

“If a snake is killed, his mate won’t come looking for him. Snake ‘repellents’ like Jeyes Fluid and garlic and geraniums will not keep them away!”

It is also “highly unlikely” that a person will die within seconds or minutes after a snake bite.

“Antivenom is the only medium and way to successfully treat a poisonous snake bite. To cut or suck a snake bite won’t help,” he warns.

With “snake season” in full swing, Francois advises to steer clear of building rubble.

“Things like rock gardens, compost heaps and bird cages serve as food sources and hideouts, and should therefore be avoided if possible.”

Also steer clear of using dense bushes and creepers around the house – especially against walls and close to open windows.

Keep any grass around the house short and areas under low-hanging bushes and shrubs clean to eliminate suitable hiding places for snakes.”

If you’re living on a plot or farm, Francois warns against keeping small livestock, especially chickens, close to home.

As many snakes are active after sundown, rather wear closed shoes and take a torch with on your walkabout after dark.

“Look where you’re going and make sure you’re walking on rocks and logs, rather than around it. “Picking up wood for your braai at sundown or at night is never a good idea!”

Don’t get your hands into places, holes and hideouts where a snake may have found a home.

Even the tiniest scratch of a dead snake’s tooth can still inject venom.

“Some snakes, like the Anchieta’s cobra, play dead when they feel threatened, and will bite the moment it gets the chance.”

Francois warns never to try and catch or kill a snake.

“You will without a doubt get bitten if you try!”

If you love the outdoors, rather wear a jean made of thick material, as well as hiking boots covering your ankles. Protect your eyes against spitting cobras by wearing sunglasses. (Facebook: Snakes of Namibia; [email protected]; [email protected])

An estimated 50,000 people are killed every year by snakes. The most venomous snake in the world is the Inland Taipan.. It can kill a human being in under 45 minutes. More than 80% of those bitten by the Inland Taipan die.

Similar News

 

Companies fail on health, safety

20 hours ago | Health

The majority of companies inspected by the labour ministry in the first quarter of this year were not in compliance with occupational health and safety...

Bolster fight against hepatitis E

20 hours ago | Health

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has again urged Namibia to boost its response to the protracted hepatitis E outbreak which has claimed the lives of...

Vaccination deaths haunt govt

1 day - 21 August 2019 | Health

Nine cases in the High Court, in which parents are suing the health ministry for close to N$5 million after their children died following routine...

Corpses rot in homes

3 days ago - 19 August 2019 | Health

Unregistered deaths, including infant mortalities, and corpses being left to rot in homes over weekends, are just some of the challenges being faced by the...

Namibians among the heaviest smokers in Africa

1 week ago - 14 August 2019 | Health

Namibia is one of the countries in Africa with the highest estimated prevalence of tobacco smoking. A World Health Organisation (WHO) report ranks Namibia's...

Hepatitis ravages Namibia's poorest

1 week ago - 14 August 2019 | Health

Urgent and fresh interventions are needed to help curb Namibia's drawn-out hepatitis E outbreak, which is approaching its two-year milepost next month and shows no...

New HIV infections remain a challenge

1 week ago - 13 August 2019 | Health

An estimated 6 000 adolescent girls and young women become infected with HIV around the world every week. On the other hand, new HIV...

Omukithi gwoHepatitis E gwadhipaga aantu yatano miiwike iyali

1 week ago - 09 August 2019 | Health

Aantu yatano okwa lopotwa ya hulitha muule wiiwike iyali yapiti omanga iipotha iipe yomukithi ngoka yi li 230 ya lopotwa, nokweetitha pombanda omwaalu gwiipotha iipe...

Hepatitis E kills 5 in two weeks

2 weeks ago - 08 August 2019 | Health

Five more people died from hepatitis E in the last two weeks of July, while nearly 230 new infections were recorded during that time, marking...

Breast milk: Every drop counts

2 weeks ago - 06 August 2019 | Health

The official inauguration of the Namibia Breast Milk Bank took place in Windhoek yesterday, with the support of the Ohlthaver and List (O&L) Group of...

Latest News

Power cut at education offices

20 hours ago | Energy

The Ohangwena education directorate's offices at Eenhana have been left without electricity, after Nored cut the power due to non-payment on Tuesday.According to sources, the...

N$600m down the drain

20 hours ago | Justice

Any hopes of Namibia recovering the over N$600 million lost in the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) scandal have been dashed. Prosecutor-General Martha Imalwa confirmed...

Solar-irrigated farms face hungry elephants

20 hours ago | Economics

Lungelo Ndhlovu - When one of Zimbabwe's first solar mini-grid systems was installed in this drought-prone village near the Botswana border in 2016, residents thought...

Infighting hinders progress

20 hours ago | Columns

Our traditional leaders, with all due respect, have been hogging the headlines for some time now, and mostly for the wrong reasons. Unnecessary infighting among...

First vegan investment fund coming...

20 hours ago | Business

Sebastien Malo – An investment fund designed for animal rights advocates and environmentalists, the first of its kind according to financial experts, is set to...

SA inflation dips as growth...

20 hours ago | Economics

South Africa's inflation last month dipped to 4.0%, its lowest level since January, the statistics agency said yesterday. In June, inflation was 4.5%.The decline was...

OATF attracts 25 international exhibitors

20 hours ago | Business

ONGWEDIVA – The 2019 Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair (OATF), which starts tomorrow, has attracted 451 exhibitors, 5.5% of which are international.A total of 450 exhibitors...

Water pollution an 'invisible threat'...

20 hours ago | Economics

Kim Harrisberg – Water pollution threatens nearly all the globally agreed development goals to end environmental destruction, poverty and suffering by 2030, economists warned in...

Companies fail on health, safety

20 hours ago | Health

The majority of companies inspected by the labour ministry in the first quarter of this year were not in compliance with occupational health and safety...

Load More