Thursday, 9 October 2008

Ndlondlo: Snake Prevention, Part 1

In Response to Yesterdays post pertaining to the reasons why Adventure Sport enthusiasts should empower themselves with the knowledge to deal with snake related situations, Ndlondlo Reptile Park in Ballito forwarded us, (to pass onto our readers) some VERY GOOD pointers on how to minimize contact with snakes, it’s quite a lengthy document so we will break it down into three parts over the next three posts.

Part 1:
When at home
Part 2: When you are outdoors.
Part 3: What to do when a snake is encountered

Part 1: At Home

Keep in mind that the Dolphin coast is a snake friendly environment! Snakes have three basic requirements namely shelter, food and water. Since all households require water most houses will have a drain system of sorts, garden taps and maybe a fish pond or water feature.

The water factor becomes almost impossible to eliminate. Water attracts toads and frogs which is food for most species of snakes. Most gardeners pride themselves on their gardens bird population, many of us feed our birds and may even have an aviary in the garden! Rats and mice are also attracted to “bird feeders”. Most snakes eat rats, mice and birds.

The most common animal in any Dolphin coast home is the tropical house gecko, although mainly hunted by the harmless bush snakes both bush snake and gecko fall prey to boomslang and vine snakes. The tropical garden provides more than enough shelter for most species of snakes without the garden sheds, retainer walls and other structures we so kindly provide.

A standard budgie breeding box will comfortably house three or even four, thee meter black mambas. Just think how much shelter your garden provides for a poor homeless snake trying to eek out a living in an ever shrinking environment.

To eliminate snakes is near impossible! Awareness is your best bet, be alert to unusual behaviour by your pets, garden birds, mongoose and even monkeys. When they spot snakes their normal behaviour changes. It is important to train your children to be aware and also what to do if they should happen upon a snake.

Part 2 …. Tomorrow

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