‘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

 

US helps Namibia win against HIV

1 day - 23 April 2019 | Health

Namibia's health ministry last week signed a new five-year cooperation agreement with the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aimed at keeping...

Hepatitis still raging on

1 week ago - 15 April 2019 | Health

The hepatitis E outbreak in Namibia which has raged on for a year and a half, claimed another life bringing the total number of deaths...

Namibia makes progress on child malnutrition

1 week ago - 11 April 2019 | Health

The latest global estimates indicate that malnutrition among Namibian children under five years old has decreased since the year 2000.The new Joint Child Malnutrition Estimates...

Hospital hygiene leaves much to be desired

2 weeks ago - 05 April 2019 | Health

The poor hygiene at Namibian hospitals, which has made news headlines over the years, has once again been highlighted in a World Health Organisation (WHO)...

N$156bn lost to diseases

3 weeks ago - 03 April 2019 | Health

Diseases afflicting Namibia's population resulted in a N$156 billion loss to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015 alone. They were also responsible for...

Rotten to the core

3 weeks ago - 02 April 2019 | Health

If the corruption plaguing the Public Service Medical Aid Scheme (Psemas) is not halted, government will be compelled to transform the scheme and disadvantage low-earning...

Sharing tombo, kapana linked to hepatitis E

4 weeks ago - 27 March 2019 | Health

Research conducted by the University of Namibia (Unam), in close collaboration with Cardiff University, has found that the ongoing hepatitis E outbreak in informal areas...

Government pharmaceutical plant on hold

1 month - 22 March 2019 | Health

Government's plan to construct a pharmaceutical plant is on hold until various agreements are reached with private sector partners involved in the project.This is according...

Hepatitis E outbreak hits Walvis

1 month - 19 March 2019 | Health

The Walvis Bay municipality has called on residents not to panic in the wake of a reported hepatitis E outbreak at the coastal town, saying...

Health buckles under meds shortage

1 month - 18 March 2019 | Health

A consignment of critically needed antibiotics is on hold at Customs in Walvis Bay after the supplier's import permit expired.The executive director of the health...

Latest News

Warning of dire food shortages

12 hours ago | Disasters

The latest Crop Prospects, Food Security and Drought Situation Report has predicted massive reductions for all crop-producing areas in the expected harvest season, including cereal...

Solving your challenges with remuneration

12 hours ago | Business

We live in an environment of continued cost-constraints, skills shortage and labour mobility. At the same time, there is pressure to improve productivity, and improve...

ACC: Budget not enough to...

12 hours ago | Economics

CATHERINE SASMAN The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) says the N$61.6 million budget proposed for its operations is woefully inadequate.The...

Do good for others

12 hours ago | Opinion

Human rights are needed to protect and preserve every individual's humanity. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is clear in highlighting the basic rights and...

Violent Easter weekend

12 hours ago | Crime

The four-day Easter weekend was marred by a spate of violent crimes including a dozen reported sexual assaults and armed robberies, in addition to a...

Watch your mouth

12 hours ago | Politics

Only half of Namibians believe that they have the right of freedom of association, says an Afrobarometer policy paper titled 'Are Africans' freedoms slipping away?'...

E-tax rollout postponed again

12 hours ago | Economics

The finance ministry introduced a new electronic income-tax filing system in January, but deadlines are repeatedly being postponed.The date when the new system must become...

Managing fall armyworm

12 hours ago | Agriculture

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has formulated a framework for partnerships for the sustainable management of fall armyworm in Africa which will focus on...

Meat Board sub-committees meet

12 hours ago | Agriculture

The Livestock Producers' Organisation (LPO) is represented on various sub-committees of the Meat Board and these committees met to discuss issues affecting the sector. The...

Load More